film reel image

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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Invisible Lies 2021 * * Stars


2021's Invisible Lies is an experimental model. It may be streaming on Peacock but it probably belongs in some international film festival out in Iowa. Frank E. Jackson Jr (the director of "Lies") basically shoots the flick in three ways. We're talking 360 pivot shots, follow shots, and alternating close-ups (that are really close up). There's also a non-linear narrative but hey, don't be fooled by what you're actually seeing. 

Invisible Lies has Jackson Jr as writer, producer, helmer, and star. With almost no production values in the tank, "Lies" is probably not an ego trip for Frank but rather a way of cutting corners by him doing everything himself. Now did Jackson Jr act as the sound editor too? Maybe. If that's the case then he should have hired someone instead. The sound editing in Invisible Lies is something horrible to behold. I mean the characters are either talking too loud or their voices are being drowned out by the melodic soundtrack. There's just no consistency and even some bad background noise might've been picked up by the boom mics. 

Coming off as a sort of student film version of Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, "Lies" is about an African-American lawyer who falls for a Caucasian woman despite his offhanded views of interracial relationships. Frank E. Jackson Jr plays lawyer Malcolm White Jr while Kristin Lauria plays Amber Lake, Malcolm's curious source of fondness. 

The acting in Invisible Lies isn't awful but it still has a little whiff of community theatre. Howbeit, some of the scenes actually crackle as long as the actors settle in and hit their marks. The biggest snag I had with "Lies" is that it's disjointed and blatantly unfinished despite its self-serving, non-sequential gimmick (mentioned in the first paragraph). Bottom line: I can't recommend Invisible Lies and its half-done tease of 71 minutes. If I did I'd be "lying" to myself.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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