'MY LOVER NEVER CAME'
- Directed by Moe Myat May Zarchi -
Waiting can rightfully be one of the most difficult processes that people have to endure. Despite the relative static nature of the act, it is a mentally and emotionally draining process, which negates or at least detracts from the efficiency with which any other task is being performed while in this state. And while waiting for a specified action to happen, or waiting for a person to do something is an exhausting task, waiting for something unclear of indefinite, to either come or happen, is even more so.
Quite a few years ago, the wonderful computer game ‘Braid’ came out, offering a meditation on time, loss and love, at least at the surface level of its story, that was very difficult to match afterwards by any kind of media. There, the protagonist relentlessly searches for a princess, only to then grow doubtful over her very existence. ‘My Lover Never Came’ sometimes feels familiar within this given framework: Lena waits for Ian, but with time, the object of waiting becomes muddled, her mostly static ‘journey’ taking her on a contemplative self-connection and identity-finding experience.
The film by Moe Myat May Zarchi immediately differentiates itself through the unique style it perpetuates. Just like ‘Braid’, it makes almost no use of dialogue, instead relying on textual narration about Lena’s feelings. While no personal touch or great depth of emotions is achieved by opting for this technique, Lena Rose very aptly portrays her character and her overarching struggle, as well as individual shifts in emotions. In this respect, ‘My Lover Never Came’ does a very good job.
Equally interesting is the film’s symbolistic. It remains to each viewer to interpret the exact nature of the key elements of the plot – whether they take the literal route or a far more metaphorical one. Small clues offer some kind of guidance, but stray away from giving definitive answers – the idea of whether or not Ian really exists is complemented by the appearance of Rene Magritte’s ‘The Son of Man’ painting in the backdrop of Lena’s apartment, a subtle hint that the concept of Ian might be a little more generalizable than the possession of a proper name may initially suggest.
All in all, ‘My Lover Never Came’ is an interesting project which certainly is not a prisoner of stereotypical self-identity finding dramas. While it does benefit from a thoroughly suitable score and very apt cinematography, its content is a bit lacking, and doesn’t exactly establish the point of difference which it would have probably hoped for. Still, this is a very promising work from a young, talented filmmaker who shows great aptitude.