ME & MY LEFT BRAIN, Australia, 2019. Starring Alex Lykos, Malcolm Kennard, Rachel Beck, Chantelle Barry, Natalia Ladyko. Directed by Alex Lykos. 76 minutes. Rated M (Crude sexual humour and Coarse language).
Who would have expected to find Left Brain in the title of the film? And, more surprisingly, to find that there is a character, Left Brain?
This is a small comedy, set in Sydney, the focus on Arthur, a man with a hanging-dog look, rarely smiling. He is approaching middle-age – and what are his prospects? Arthur is played by the writer-director, Alex Lykos who made the entertaining film Alex and Eve, an interfaith variation on Romeo and Juliet in contemporary Sydney, one family Greek Orthodox, the other family Lebanese Christian.
We see Arthur walking down the street in the company of an older man. The older man seems to hang back. Yet they talk. The older man seems to be becoming more agitated or exasperated. As well he might. And his name? Left Brain. So, this is an alter ego film, the alter ego being Arthur’s left brain who offers the rather romantic, right-brainish, Arthur some logical, commonsensical, advice.
Arthur lives alone (apart from Left Brain), is rather morose, not prone to go into action. He wants to be an actor but is criticised during his awkward audition. What is he to do?
Arthur is obsessed by Helen – who appears, charmingly, in a variety of flashbacks as Arthur reviews the possibilities, the attraction, her not responding to his texts. She is played by Chantelle Barry.
The director uses the device of having Arthur lie on his bed, Helen not having contacted him by his 9.00 pm deadline. Left Brain (Malcolm Kennard) lies down with him and dozes. There is a digital clock which indicates to the audience time passing – and, ever so slowly, Arthur turning the light on and off, Left brain complaining, the delight of a flashback only to find that scarcely a minute or so has passed – right up until the early hours. Poor Arthur!
Fortunately, Arthur has a best friend, Vivien (Rachel Beck – who also has her own Left Brain). Vivien is pretty vivacious – especially when Arthur gloomily interrupts her at home in an encounter with a big, bearded, burly Irishman, and they have to sit, Irishman wrapped in a blanket, in a solidarity vigil with Arthur.
So, the comedy is made up of small entertaining pieces – and, fortunately, Vivien being a good friend who can come to Arthur’s rescue!
Director self-distributing Released May 16th
Peter Malone MSC is an Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.