A trio of compulsive truth-tellers visit a counsellor in the hope of gaining enough confidence to tell lies in Brandon Haynes’ short film 2 Truths & A Lie.
1997 saw the release of the Jim Carrey comedy vehicle Liar Liar, in which he portrayed a lawyer who is forced to only tell the truth after his son’s birthday wish comes true. Then, 12 years later, The Invention of Lying was unleashed upon the world, with Ricky Gervais finding the ability to lie in an alternative world where everybody only tells the truth. Now, with this short film, Brandon Haynes focuses on lying and how doing so is like second nature to some, whilst others find it as simple as breathing.
A beautifully lensed short film, 2 Truths & A Lie starts off in the office of Melissa (Shawn Mathis Gooden) – a very animated counsellor who helps those that find it hard to bend the truth. She has three subjects sitting across from her, a lawyer named Courtney (Arielle Siler), a social media influencer called Jonathan (Jelani Pitcher), and a professional poker player called Frank (Chris Rothbauer). Not having the ability to lie is having a negative effect on the trio’s personal and professional lives, but Melissa insists that she can help.
After handing out paper and pens, Melissa instructs the three to write down two truths and a lie. Such a simple instruction turns out to be anything but, as one of the group opts to write three lies, whilst another vomits all over the floor at the thought of lying. With this plan going haywire, Melissa then decides to take things to a drastic and dark level in order to gain the results she requires.
Whilst described as a comedy short, I found 2 Truths & a Lie to be humorous in parts, but more akin to a dark comedy. I also found it very interesting. As stated above, the sixteen-minute piece is gorgeous to look at, with excellent lighting, colour grade, and camera movement. There are only really three locations in the short – Melissa’s front room, her lounge, and the backyard for a quick scene, but thanks to the way it is shot, and the professional editing throughout, it feels like the short is a lot bigger than it actually is.
As well as the cinematography, the sound design is really well done, and the score works brilliantly too.
The performances by all four of the cast members are great, with Gooden relishing in her over-the-top character, and the other three actors portraying their roles with humour and humility perfectly. I’d don’t believe I’ve actually egged on characters to lie whilst watching a film before, but for some reason, I did whilst watching this.
2 Truths & A Lie is a really well-made short film by a group of individuals who obviously love their craft. If you are looking for a fun short film, you can’t go wrong with this one.