Relationships are complicated but more so when there’s a life-changing event. The short film Life and the Art of Lying isn’t just a story about two people facing their true feelings about each other. It explores the complexity of life and the ethical responsibilities of the medical community.
Right from the beginning, the film makes clears there’s something going on between the protagonist, Charlie (Angela Martin), and ‘best friend’ Mara (Ariana Leask) but that for some reason, they just won’t talk about it. It isn’t until further along in the film that they are forced to talk it out, although not in the best of circumstances.
From a previous experience with her condition, Charlie is determined to live her life on her own terms, wanting to have fun, fall in love and be happy. But her plans are put on hold when she discovers the cancer is back. Now that she’s ill again she wants to approach it in a new way. What’s interesting about her decision is that she feels the necessity to confide not only in her doctor Simone (Kelly-Marie Murtha) but in the person she truly cares about, Mara. Of course for Mara, her world has just collided as she must deal with the possibility of her ‘best friend’ dying, and facing the truth about what she really feels toward Charlie.
On the other hand, the character of Dr. Simone is complex. Nowadays is so common to see the medical community so invested in having recognition, earning more money than their real responsibility (saving lives) is obscured. This character presents an alternative that will affect not only the protagonist but herself as well. She brings into discussion what it means to be a doctor by saying that not every doctor practices the right for everyone’s right to life. And it’s only at the end of the film that we somewhat understand what she means.
Emily Schooley‘s Life and the Art of Lying has a much more profound meaning than just a story about two people coming to terms with their feelings for each other, thus watching it once isn’t enough.