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First Look Review - Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

A couple is torn apart by distrust and paranoia.

Directed by: Pablo D'Stair
Starring: Carlyle Edwards, Helen Bonaparte, Goodloe Byron, Laura Anne Walling


Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief is a head-scratching, low budget story that begins when Leonard confronts his wife, Lana, about a man who confronted him claiming to be Lana’s ex-husband. After arguing about the legitimacy of the claim, we see the man and Leonard’s next interaction, which naturally leads the story to just return to the opening argument. This time, though, Lana has a curveball for Leonard, claiming a girl approached her about having an affair with him. Honestly, all the mindless bickering and distrust between the couple comes off as downright annoying, as their arguments last almost the entire first half of this already short feature.
After their second altercation, Lana apparently, and for obvious reasons, leaves Leonard, leaving him only an e-mail and voicemail. Fast forward three weeks, and Leonard is confronted by an array of characters badgering him, claiming Lana has disappeared and they are trying to find her. Based on what Leonard knows, which is nothing at all, these conversations are almost identical to the arguments in the beginning of the film because they are trivial and lead to nothing being figured out by either party. Then, plot twist, out of the blue: Lana suddenly appears in Leonard’s dining room and she is happy, loving, apologetic, and considerate of Leonard in ways we have never seen. As she explained everything to Leonard, his confusion mirrored my own. It makes no sense and only furthers the confusion for the purpose of even making this film.
Everything about this film makes me scratch my head: from the title, which makes no sense, to what happens during the story; the reason that it was shot in a black and white, static-like style, which only adds to the discomfort and claustrophobic nature of watching two people, who you’ve never met, argue about former lovers, disappearances, and whether Lana is a good kisser; the actors overly playing flatly written characters that are unrelatable; even the song choice in the credits, which I did find entertaining, was odd to me.
Perhaps it would serve better on a stage where actors can really work out their characters and flesh them out to become real or exciting for the audience. Having said that, I don’t see how any acting talent would make the film much better. Obviously, this film was not made for me, as I am baffled by why it was made at all. Always looking for a film's purpose via a message, thought, or entertainment, I didn’t find anything really worthwhile, as the film seemingly exists to ask unanswerable questions, like why are we supposed to care about these characters; why did the former lovers decide to mess with this obviously already troubled couple; and where did Lana go, just to name a few.
2/10
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