Max Walker-Silverman’s debut feature, A Love Song, centres around two childhood sweethearts, Faye (Dale Dickey) and Lito (Wes Studi), who are both widowed and share a night reminiscing about their lives.

The sound design throughout is incredibly effective, creating a familiar soundtrack for the two characters, immersing the audience in their world that exists beside a picturesque lake in the mountains – the perfect backdrop. The sights and sounds cleverly evoke a range of strong emotions. Sadness. Loneliness. Hopefulness. As they reminisce, the film gifts the audience this same nostalgia. Faye and Lito experience the anticipation of seeing an old flame, preening in the mirror and giggling through the nerves even after all this time. But when they finally reunite, they ask one another, “you know me?”

The performances by Dickey and Studi are deeply poignant – through the look in their eyes, we can tell that they’re seeing the person they used to know, a person frozen in their memories, and trying to reconcile that with the stranger standing in front of them. The dialogue here is beautifully written; discussions about their lives as it is now, as well as recalling old times that tie them together even after decades that have stacked up between them. Dickey and Studi make us feel as if they’re the only two people on earth, existing in this liminal space between past and present, and while together, they experience their shyness, their youth again. But there’s also a forlorn lilt in their voices every time they speak to one another. 

It’s comforting to hear someone say, “I remember.” There’s such beauty in the simplicity of it, much like the film itself. A Love Song portrays something that’s so recognisable, a yearning to reconnect with those from the past, but the reality that the present will inevitably get in the way.

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis

DIRECTOR: Max Walker-Silverman

WRITER: Max Walker-Silverman

SYNOPSIS: Two childhood sweethearts, now both widowed, share a night by a lake in the mountains.

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