Director Jack James’ directorial debut, Malady, is a thought provoking and unorthodox look at the human condition. With extremely tight and claustrophobic camera angles, director James manages to imbue the viewer with a foreboding sense of the arrival of a new epoch in the narrative structure. There is a haunting beauty to James’ colouration: deep reds, autumn yellows, shallow blues. This menagerie of colourful exploration explores the characters and their deepest desires. A lustful reverie allows the characterization to progress beyond the cookie-cutter clichés and dip into the pond of melodrama.
Malady is not only beautiful in every sense, but it’s also dark and haunting. Intelligent dialogue is interspersed with languid movements and out-of-focus refocusing. It burns slowly, like a dying fire; builds to an unorthodox climax; and begs the audience to answer the question: am I truly experiencing this film? Yes. Malady is a cornucopia of melodies and discordant sounds. Disease is not the disease we see so solemnly portrayed, but is instead the malady of the mind, the heart and the soul.
I am in awe of Malady and what it achieved in its slow build. Don’t expect a mindless horror flick; expect beautiful imagery and poetic, infinitesimal movements that will make you think, experience and yes, even fall in love.