Explores the strength of love when it's built out of grief and is challenged with shame, guilt and secrets.
Written By: Jack James
Directed By: Jack James
Where to begin and end with Jack James film "Malady" is almost as tricky as deciding my exact thoughts on the film itself. On one hand this was an ambitious feature put together as a directorial debut. In that regard, this was one hell of an accomplishment! Being a person who dabbles in film myself, knowing how things run behind the scenes, I gotta say that I'm completely impressed. Finishing any film, especially one that runs over 1.5 hours is one hell of a feat. The odds are stacked against you from day one. As a directorial debut, Jack James has impressed the hell out of myself, probably most other indie filmmakers as well. However, the viewer... doesn't care. They don't make films and for them, they either like it or they don't. That's the stance I'm going to have to take here. The road of the casual viewer. So let's begin by saying "Malady" will not be for everyone. The format of the narrative alone can be trying at times... to say the least. This film very much is an art piece in most every respect. Lovers of a slightly different kind of cinema, the road less traveled, will probably really enjoy this. The casual viewer... not quite as much.
Technically, "Malady" is seemingly as much about precision as it is about art. To me anyhow. Massive use of a shaky, in-and-out of focus style can at times feel sloppy; until of course you realize that those very motions and blurs help tremendously with the vibe of the flick. That's when you realize it's probably intentional. Still though, I personally feel that more use of standardized shots, mixed with the more artistic approach, would have greatly stream-lined this film. Let us all keep in mind one thing though; Director Jack James may not have wanted a more standardized film. For more appeal from the casual viewer however, this would have been a good idea. As a creative project however, I really think that everything from the lensing, right down to the editing was intentional and in that respect, it worked. Again, let me say that this may not be a film for the casual viewer. The story itself is interesting although somewhat vague at times, but the cast really put themselves into their respective roles. The perceived commitment to this film is astounding. What makes me write that? Acting chops aside, you'll simply have to watch to find out. I will say that this isn't a family film... and leave it at that. Touching a little more on the acting itself; most of "Malady" is all about facial acting. By that, I mean there's not a lot of actual dialog. Most of the story is told from expressions and a very well crafted underscore. Acting without a lot of words is just as hard as using dialog though, let's not forget that. In this respect... I gotta give credit where it's due. Without doubling the size of this write-up by naming names... let me just say that everyone did one hell of a job! The little dialog that is present, is done very well; the expressions that make the rest of the film are mostly spot on. This really is a well cast flick.
"Malady", even for the casual viewer is easily an above average film, worth a look simply for the sake of watching. For some, this could even be a doorway film to the world of art cinema. For those who know the inner-workings of a movie, Jack James deserves much more credit than given here. When you're looking to kill some time, and want to broaden your horizons a little... this is hands-down the title for you. So go ahead, when it becomes available sit down, grab some popcorn and enjoy.
Other Reviews That May Interest You