Directed by: #GuilhermePedra
Written by: Guilherme Pedra
It’s all about connection in Guilherme Pedra’s short film following musician Arthur’s spiritual dilemma on his love life. Finding himself enamoured in a corespondent relationship with Luna, his interests also has him getting closer to Theo, a cello player down the hall. The film is framed to wrangle with the questions of love: what it is? How it can change? Can you love more than one person?. This dilemma drives Arthur deeper into his music, seeking to complete a composition that can express who he is. I am Love looks at how different connections create different expressions of love but is unable to create a connection with its audience.
The fault to Pedra’s script and direction is a lack of charisma that makes Arthur’s character and journey one difficult to emphasise with. Nothing tugs at the heartstrings, it all feels pretentious and leaves little to invest in. Xuezi Zhang’s camerawork makes it all look pretty, with crisp focused digital photography and an over-emphasis on the colour blue, but these visuals also increments on the tedium. It’s a conflict that doesn’t feel personal despite its intended intimacy, there is a disconnect to Arthur's most poignant moments. Though Pedra doesn’t shy away from portraying Arthur’s bisexuality or the larger themes of the spectrum of sexuality, it doesn’t leave a memorable impact.
There’s a lack of chemistry with the romance, the audience is invited into these private moments between Arthur and Theo and there’s nothing real about it. I am Love feels artificial in its presentation, non-subtle blue lighting showcasing artistic struggles and romantic intimacy accompanied by classical music. The music is relevant to the film but also contributes to the hollow nature of the story. At times the mise-en-scène of I am Love feels like a checklist of what the filmmakers believe an audience will respond to rather than their personal visions.
The music isn’t terrible by any stretch, Juan Dussán’s score and accompaniments are highlights of the film, I enjoyed ‘The Missing Piece’ by Gabby Fontes that played over the credits. In the end, however, Arthur’s love life crisis and its larger questions flounder as Guilherme Pedra can’t craft a compelling vision. Dylan Soal struggles in making Arthur multi-faceted in his heartache, with an absent passion from Pedra’s direction having all of the emotional moments fall flat. I am Love is forgettable, with the underdeveloped characterisation that makes any audience investment abstract at best.