Directed by Bernard Kordieh
Starring Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Maja Laskowska, Dudley O’Shaughnessy
Short Film Review by Jack Bottomley
What is it to truly live? Living cannot be easily defined, as different people have different viewpoints on what being alive really means and in writer/director Bernard Kordieh’s hypnotically shot coming of age story Melody, we are taken into the world of midnight adventure and free-spirited lifestyle. Although, as we soon discover, this way of life is often on a periphery of internal conflict and most certainly is complicated.
Melody tells the story of Leah (Maja Laskowska), a young woman recovering from a recent break-up and seeking the advice and company of her maverick mate 'Melody' (Maisie Richardson-Sellers of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow). As these two friends experience the delights of the nightlife, their sisterhood is challenged by wild emotions. The plot is told in a very free and easy fashion, with the structure being less sound and more spontaneous in approach, as evident by a script comprised of a lot of improvisation. Melody is a short film that is very stylish and unorthodox in its presentation of the conflicted characters and feelings. On one hand it is a coming of age story, on another it is a film about what it is to live this way and seek out the appetites of love in the moment without regard or concern for the consequences that soon follow.
Thanks to Samuel Pierce’s photography, this is a visually intoxicating watch with characters that are every bit as vibrant as the aesthetic presentation and every bit as free-roaming as the narrative. Laskowska as Leah is great, as the character seeks her place with the aid of her much stronger willed friend and hopes towards the future come the climax of the film. Meanwhile Richardson-Sellers as the title character Melody is wonderful as the free thinking and thrill seeking character but in one scene we get an idea, as to how she came to have this ethos, when her inner emotions bubble over uncontrollably. Love is a key component of this divisive film and the love in question revolves around Dudley O’Shaughnessy’s pleasure obsessed Francesco, a character that is unfussed with stability and whose way of life really centres on flimsily structured and ultimately destructive relationships.
Some may well lose patience with Kordieh’s film, which undoubtedly gets as submerged in the presented lifestyle as the character’s do but the film has this flicker of hope beneath all the fractured emotions and party time living, it has an element of living the way you choose and discovering who you are in the process. Melody is very engaging, well acted and alluring, if not for everybody, and you get the feeling that it is an accurate snapshot of how many people go about this strange thing called life, either seeking pleasure or purpose, or even a mixture of the two. An interesting watch.