Monday, January 7, 2013

Hello Lonesome

by Drew Martin 
Following my take on Obselidia a couple days ago in my review Love is Obsolete, which was a bit of a rant against “love propaganda,” is this review of Hello Lonesome. Equally quirky, Hello Lonesome has a broader scope of relationships and truer meaning of loneliness. While the main character of Obselidia, George, was not actually lonely until his state of being alone was rubbed in his face, the five main characters in Hello Lonesome are alone and incomplete. They are all looking for a connection to someone else, and we see how this can be satisfied on many different levels.

For a manly voice-over artist, whose wife and daughter have left him, it is hang time with a young delivery man. For an elderly widow and her middle-aged divorced neighbor it is about maintaining the normalcy of a relationship through grocery shopping, sharing a bottle of wine and snuggling in pajamas. For a guy with a crappy job and a dumpy apartment it is fulfilled not by scoring with a professional Manhattanite with a swanky apartment, but in marrying her after she tells him she is terminally ill, and being her care taker as she dies of stage four breast cancer.

Love in Hello Lonesome  is neither obsolete nor is it the center of the universe. It is expressed in simple gestures that boomerang back with more momentum. The voice-over artist teaches the delivery man to shoot his pump-action shotgun. In one of the final scenes, the voice-over artist is stuck in his soundproof, airtight recording booth at home. The delivery man comes to his rescue, shooting the lock off the door to free him. 

I liked this film as soon as I saw the opening credits. The look is a kind of augmented reality; all the text was laid into real pictures, which were given a short range of depth by blurring out the edges. The effect of block letters, with shadows that match their surroundings is playful and it makes all the real-world environments look like miniature sets.