Fun, feisty and politically incorrect, Me and My Left Brain is a throwback to a different era. The film is a charming, if sometimes heavy-handed, boy-meets-girl story.
Arthur (Alex Lykos) is in love with Helen (Chantelle Barry). He seeks advice from his best friend Vivien (Rachael Beck) but is constantly hounded by a voice in his head – his left brain (Malcolm Kennard). A wannabe actor who keeps missing out on roles, Arthur has a job interview but can’t sleep because he doesn’t know where things stand with Helen.
Believe it or not, although Me and My Left Brain is a fantasy, it still gets to the heart of relationships, which often rests with overthinking things. I liked the humour, including the deliberately crass bits, partly because it was fun and partly because that is real life.
The hapless hero, Arthur, tries but just can’t figure it all out. Alex Lykos (who also wrote and directs the movie) represents him well. Then we have his macho alter ego (Malcom Kennard) who generally takes a sledgehammer approach. So, of course, the pair – representing the left and right sides of his brain – are in constant conflict. Rachael Beck is a delight as Vivien, somebody real (unlike his internal voice) to whom he turns constantly for support. I also liked the characterisation of the gorgeous but aloof girlfriend by Chantelle Barry.
On occasions the delivery of the dialogue appeared forced and that detracted from my overall enjoyment. A skit involving a passer-by was well intentioned but felt staged. I should also make mention of one scene that’s sure to spark controversy. It involves Vivien in an episode that may make fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise do a double take … only in this case it is merely the verbiage and not the imagery.
The music, which ranges from ragtime to jazz, is superb and a credit to composer Cezary Skubiszewski. He’s been responsible for the music in some of Australia’s most beloved films, including The Sapphires and Red Dog.
Me and My Left Brain is a pleasant distraction – a fractured fairy tale with heart.
Director: Alex Lykos
Cast: Alex Lykos, Rachael Beck, Chantelle Barry
Release Date: 16 May 2019 (limited)
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Alex First is a Melbourne based journalist and communications specialist. He contributes to The Blurb on film and theatre.