Written and Directed by Victor Kaczmarczyk
Starring Derek D’Arcy, Edelle Notte, Leo Silva Jeffs, David Healy
Short film review by Hannah Sayer
In this short film by Victor Kaczmarczyk, a driver trying to impress his passenger leads to him playing games with a young, in training police officer in order to avoid a speeding ticket.
Liar follows a car journey, where the filming starts off from the back seat of the car, as if the viewer is witnessing the events that are about to take place as if they were a part of the action. There are two people in the car; a man driving and his passenger, a woman who is wearing sunglasses and seems uninterested with the driver, as she provocatively sucks her lollipop. The man driving continuously looks to his left, seemingly aggravated by the woman’s clear disinterest in anything other than gazing out of the window and her lollipop. The driver continues to turn the music up as he drives along, while continuing to glance at her as the music gets louder. The focus then cuts to another car, where a police officer is training a young officer on how to measure the speeds of cars. If they’re over the limit, he is told to pull them over. Then the sequence returns to the other car, where the driver is still trying to gain his passenger's diverted attention. The camera then focuses on the speed dial in the car, as we watch as the driver accelerates from 60 to 80. With no dialogue between the driver and the passenger from the start to the finish of the film, the viewer is unaware of what is going on between them. The music on the radio masks the silence. But, Kaczmarczyk cleverly diverts our attention to the climbing speed, as the viewer themselves makes the connection between the acceleration and the fact that the officer is likely to stop them at any moment.
As expected, the young officer pulls over the car after registering the readings. The driver is certainly a mysterious figure. He informs the officer that he doesn’t have a license after drink driving, that the car is stolen and he bluntly states that the owner of the stolen car is in the boot. Tension begins to rise as the audience questions the dangerous nature of the driver. This is reinforced through the loud setting of the motorway, as cars race by. However, this can also be criticised, as even though it adds to the dramatic and tense nature of the narrative, the dialogue between the driver and the young officer can seem muffled and blurred out by the endless cycle of traffic.
The significance of the title “Liar” is now reinforced, as the audience learns that the driver was in fact lying to the young officer when he shows the other police officer his license and reveals that the vehicle wasn’t in fact stolen. Learning that there is nothing in the boot, a sense of relief carries the short remainder of the film, as the comedic nature of the joke that has been taken can be appreciated. The female passenger finally seems to be impressed, as she eventually looks at her driver, takes her sunglasses off and smiles at him as they drive away. We never hear a word uttered from the woman, whose face we do not completely see until right at the end, when she removes her sunglasses. The ambiguous nature of her character and her relationship with the driver is frustrating as these questions are never answered, leaving them up for interpretation. The focus on her throughout though suggests her importance, as shots are always left to linger on her sucking the lollipop, sensually and seductively, as this is repeated throughout with only her mouth in frame.