This one is for the keeps. A shining example of lighthearted comedy, romance and genuine warmth, due in large part to Amanda Bright’s screenplay, The Lennox Report boasts of a stellar cast, exceptional writing, and tangible facets to its story.
Too many gaffes have gone viral, with Zoom calls recording people without their trousers, cats tails wiggling at the camera, and children cartwheeling in the background. The lockdown has certainly made the universal nightmare of being caught publicly with one’s pants down a legitimate possibility. But if you thought you were done having laughed at those, how about laughing with some of those?
In Steve Bright’s 35-minute short, which he has also shot and edited, the titular Lennox project has brought on board a team comprising of a very sick Toby (David Newman), ill-timed humour dispenser Louise, played by veteran British actor Adjoa Andoh, seen latest as the fierce Lady Danbury, Bridgerton, amiable, yet serious Kayla (Amanda Bright), and an adorably awkward Mark (Amit Shah, of The Witcher and Crashing fame). The ensemble cast goes beyond these four and make for a fitting addition to the story, which focuses primarily on Kayla, and her growing relationship with Mark.
When they are forced to deal with the project by themselves, Kayla and Mark find themselves growing close in spite of, and even because of, their awkward, shy personalities.
It is hard to pick the moment when the audience begins to fall in love with the characters. Perhaps it is in the tenderness with which Mark approaches everything, or in Kayla’s reserved demeanour, but they grow on you. Sending an erroneous file that has Mark making a complete fool of himself breaks the ice between the two and thereafter, it is a series of virtual dates, seemingly endless conversations and wonderfully orchestrated admission of love. In the middle of all this, we have Kayla’s mother and friend circle, besides her cat (who we would not have minded seeing more of), take up her headspace, and not always in pleasant ways.
What is noticeably interesting about the film is not only its casting, but also how well-balanced and evenly spaced out the characters are in the entire narrative. At no point do they seem like an addition made simply to support the prime cast or flesh out a sob story. And nor do the scenes stretch to exaggerate their punch. A considerable accomplishment, considering how many comedy films tend to fail here.
The humour, which remains the driving force of the film, works primarily due to how well Bright delivers it. She makes Kayla a real, credible individual. One who we might have brushed past in our offices, an ideal colleague, who is considerate and upright. So much so that, when her family and friends ladle out toxicity of varying degrees, both knowingly and unknowingly, at her, we want to stand up for her. Good thing the script covers all aspects of the character’s arc, or else this comedy might have looked more like a grim drama.
Victor Chaga, whose composition does good for a film that intercuts between several video calls to close-ups, helps the audience remain rooted to the storyline and tenderly develops the blossoming love through his musical notes. Shah and Bright own their characters. It is due to their natural chemistry, and exciting acting prowess that their story resonates and feels credible. Add to that, the supporting cast, without whom Kayla’s own personality would not have had the chance to shine through, deserves worthy applause. While subjects like body shaming and negging are very subtly addressed in The Lennox Report, the focus does not shift from the unrestrained joy of a chance discovery of love.
While the pandemic continues to weigh down people’s spirits, here is one short that presents the quarantine days in a delightful manner. If only everyone’s quarantine days were spent similarly. But for now, we can thank the makers for this wonderful story for many to enjoy vicariously.The Lennox Report: Love In The Time Of Covid-19 Click To Tweet