Director Anant Mehra offers 13:25 minutes of what seems like a visual essay, of a very painful dissection of a relationship that held much promise. Evan Brown and Simran Jehani who essay the titular roles bring to the screen a potential heartbreak, that is evident from the very opening frame.
Overlapping Austin Hammonds’ music are the flickering of the flames, the crackling of the wood and the agonising silence between two minds that are distanced from one another with suspicion, dread and angst. Mehra makes a conscious choice with the colour palette; the hues of red, brown and fiery gold are hard to miss. They leave a lasting impact on the viewer even as the story begins to unravel the crumbling of what could have been a beautiful relationship.
She is a photographer. He is a writer. Both dedicated to their craft, and yet, surprisingly unable to understand the professional boundaries of their commitment. It is interesting to note here that cinematographer Devon Johns lets the lens linger long enough to make both the subjects seem like the muse of each other’s work. The frames capture every twitch, every sigh, every tilt, almost giving the viewer a voyeuristic experience of what the ugly side of any relationship can be.
Alex (Evan Brown) is suspicious, jealous, and doubtful. His partner’s commitment to him is often tested in words and actions. As the story builds up, enter Josh, a character we know only by name. But, as the narrative revolves around him, he soon becomes the focal point of the arguments and sermonising. It’s impactful, for by the end, we too are smothered and obsessed by Josh as is Alex.
Brown and Jehani effortlessly sink into their characters. To their credit, the strained chemistry between the two translates convincingly onto the screen of the withdrawal their characters begin to make from one another.
What stands out the most in Where The Truth Lies is the choice in the colour palette, the background score and the lack of it in very poignant moments. The directorial hand in opting for a cyclic narrative is not lost on the viewer either as Mehra makes a befitting cut in the climax that leaves all questions answered.
Where The Truth Lies: The Dying Embers Of A Love About To Be Lost