"You're like a melody playing in my head" was, for sure, one of the most perfectly fitting pieces of dialog I've come across watching movies in a long while. Contained within those few simple words were the confirmations I had been hoping for as I watched this film. Confirmation of a growing suspicion I had throughout the entire movie. It's a funny thing to stop and consider. The off-the-wall pushing of the narrative, all the guessing and hypothesizing - as I watched - was all answered so elegantly. So care-free, much as the movies protagonist herself. Those few easy words were the answer. The easy, quick answer at least. You see reader - Bernard Kordieh's short film "Melody" is all about the hypnosis of the visuals. The confusion of the story that mirrors the confusion of life. A person could argue that this film doesn't follow the standard progression of a movie. The timeline of events is presented out of order. However, another person could say the exact opposite. That "Melody" is chronologically of sound mind, only visually experimental. I'm pretty sure both people would be right to some degree. I'm also pretty sure that was the point all along. So what's the story? The quick version is that Leah has just went through a break-up. As any newly single person can attest, in such situations, usually the best course of action is the company of friends. In this case, Leah's best friend Melody is the perfect shoulder. Melody is Leah's counterpart. Her opposite. For Leah's inverse personality, Melody is the fun loving party girl. What better way to get through such a dire feeling of situations right? Only... things are not quite as they at first seem. Clues are handed out sparingly during the start of the film, but become more generous as it progresses. In my eyes, "Melody" beautifully captures the fine line between depression and a full blown mental breakdown. The collision of our fantasies and our reality. The fact this is all put together in such a beautifully chaotic way is just the gravy on the potatoes.
Technically, "Melody" manages to balance traditionally shot footage with shaky, reality styled fare. Never an easy task especially to folks like myself - who hate hand-held camera work. In this case it's all done well, and crafted together by the editor in a very slick, polished way. The actual "story" itself is unique enough to be interesting, but it's the technical work behind the lens that really makes it shine. Another aspect that pulls this film out of mediocrity? The acting. Maja Laskowska does a surprisingly fantastic job playing off of Maisie Richardson-Sellers, who holds the role of the movies namesake. Watching the two actresses bounce off one and other, in such a delightfully frantic manner, perfectly conveys the drastic personality differences and story. Rounding off the two ladies is, of course, Dudley O'shaughnessy as Leah's on/off boyfriend. Managing to convey a "playa" personality is easy... managing to do it, as if it's actually a front for someone who cares, is another story all in itself. Is the acting one of the highlights of the film? Definitely.
When it's all said and done, this is one of those films that may end up being a little overly confusing for some. For others however, it will make perfect sense. These are the eyes Kordieh should be focusing on when marketing. Anyone who gets the chance to watch this title, will know exactly what I mean. As for the entertainment value of the movie? I personally thought it was present in spades! In my humble opinion, "Melody" has earned - and deserves - every single star I have given it. Excellent job guys. It was a real pleasure.