Directed by: #BenMyers
Irish radio salesperson, David (Colfer), has settled in his new home in Austin, Texas and lives with his social media android named Viva (Berning). One night when David meets up with his new online dating match, the free spirited Layla (Woche) looking for romance, David’s whole world is shook up and he realises that he must choose between his artificial companion and a real human being.
A Lone Star Love (2021) is a sci fi/drama/romance, which appears to be set in the near future, with social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter still existing and all information of interest is constantly communicated to our protagonist through a synthetic android in the shape of a pretty, young woman. Directed by Ben Myers, this fascinating short runs at just under thirty minutes and presents a very compelling narrative which has much to say and leaves one craving for more content once the credits have rolled.
The cinematography is vibrant and engaging, with a solid opening introducing us to David in a noisy bar as he meets up with Layla and they strike up an intriguing conversation about David’s social media android. Warm colours of pink and red invite us into the energetic setting and the screenplay is also impressive, with a thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking narrative of the morals of social media well explored throughout.
Layla raises the relevant debate for today’s technology obsessed society when she suggests social media is more damaging to us, as we fail to live our lives in the present and live life to the fullest. Her point of view is exemplified by a fun dance sequence shot with sweeping camera movements, demonstrating how disconnected David really is from reality. Although this concept has been explored in big budget Hollywood movies like Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and Her (2013), it is still creative and can be quite disturbing in its implications for the near future.
Annette Berning is brilliant as Viva, speaking in an unsettling monotone voice when relaying constant social media updates to David on a daily basis. It was a nice touch to have Viva take on the personality of the senders of these emails and text messages, by suddenly becoming more human with a bubbly appearance and voice and Berning was very convincing as she effortlessly flipped between these.
Ronan Colfer also makes a strong impression as David as he becomes more dangerously attached to and reliant on his android. It is disturbing and uncanny to see an ordinary looking young woman used as just a tool and stands in the corner of the room when ‘she’ is not needed.
Overall, A Lone Star Love features a riveting science fiction narrative with identifiable characters and an important message about the dangers of social media and what our future could potentially look like. Performances are strong, as is the direction and screenplay – a very worthy watch.