Levi Jackson’s short film, Love Lost, tells the story of Jess (Johnny San Martin) and Mike (Chris Paradice Daniels), two estranged friends who haven’t seen each other in the seven years that Jess has been in prison, following a car accident that killed Mike’s girlfriend, Jennifer (Jessica Mullin). Mike is looking for answers as the two reconnect over drinks, and the truth regarding the accident, and the days leading up to it, are revealed.
You can probably imagine where the story is going with this one, and the film doesn’t employ many twists or turns. The ending is dramatic and intense, but also not terribly surprising. The film works best in its moments where you don’t realize you’re watching a film, and just relax into the experience. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between, as the film often calls attention to itself in a way that pulls you out.
For example, the visual aesthetic of the film is pretty straightforward, so the filmmakers try to create energy with the edit. Unfortunately, these attempts at editorial trickery are clunky, and are more distracting than they are successful. I understand the intent, but the execution is lacking.
Likewise, the audio mix is not the smoothest experience for the ears. Sometimes it’s a poor sound mix, other times it’s a poor sound edit. The truth is everything here could be tighter, smoother, more polished; it is a production that gives itself away as amateur, rarely transcending its limitations.
Overall, I wouldn’t have minded if the film was shorter, and reining in some of those editorial attempts at energy and prolonged montage would’ve helped there. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a lo-fi film, and I think if the film had committed more to the simplistic and straightforward nature of that aesthetic, instead of trying to mask it with other elements, then it may have been able to focus more on sanding down some of the rough edges, making for a smoother overall experience.
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