A love song is a quivering melancholy memory | 25YL


A love song is a quiet and moderate force of nature. There are few things as romantic as the American West, and the candy-colored open skies, ever-looming mountains, and sparkling lake provide a spectacular setting for this tale of regret and nostalgia.

For the first eight minutes and twenty seconds, the film’s main character, Faye (Dale Dickey), is completely silent. The camera watches her make coffee, fish and keep busy at her secluded campsite. It’s not until a group of young people knock on the door of her caravan to ask her if she would agree to swap campsites that Faye finally speaks up. She’s waiting for someone, she says, and they know how to find her there.

The person Faye is waiting for is Lito (Wes Studi), a childhood friend she hasn’t seen in more years than she can remember. Faye doesn’t know the exact day of his arrival, or even if he will, but she lives only on coffee, crayfish and hope while waiting. When he finally arrives, old feelings come to the surface.

Bleecker Street

Dickey and Studi have built careers as supporting characters, but A love song is their chance to shine. Finally, the center of the stage belongs to them and they fully command it. When the two reunite after decades apart, the screen is filled with a tension audience members can feel in their bones. Faye and Lito don’t know anything about each other’s life after childhood, but they both decided to come to this campsite in the middle of nowhere, and that’s saying something. Their first words to each other are a “hello” greeting. So much is said in that one word through Dickey and Studi’s subtextual and nuanced performances. “Howdy” is more than a hello, it’s a rediscovered childhood friendship, a rekindled flame and an answered prayer.

This campsite is on the lake where Faye and Lito used to go on field trips in high school. They remember sitting on those rocks with their feet in the water like they did when they were sixteen. Except now they’re in their 60s and they’re widowed. Something about being together in a place they frequented when they were young makes them feel young again. They laugh, blunder and share ice cream like two teenagers.

Faye and Lito play guitar
Bleecker Street

In many ways, A love song feels like the little brother of the Before Trilogy. They’re all movies that center on two people with romantic pasts, but there’s a lot more restraint in A love song. This may be due to the age difference of the characters. The Before The trilogy spans around thirty years, but Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) are even younger than Faye and Lito. It’s not that Faye and Lito are inherently wiser or smarter due to their age, but they’re more aware of what’s at stake. They realize how inconceivable life has brought them together. again. That they can love their deceased partners while having an open heart to relive the love. And that they want to start something new, especially something as exhausting, frustrating, and worthwhile as a partnership.

Some may find the film slow, as is always the case with Restricted Relationship Studies. The characters end up in the same place, physically at least, where they started. Yet each scene is layered with so much subtext that Faye and Lito are almost entirely different by the end of the story. Every conversation they have operates on two levels. The first is reality, basic, boring conversations. Below are the real questions and feelings. Faye and Lito’s conversation about a school trip and how they almost kissed is not a playful reminiscence. He’s testing the waters to see where the other one is. An entire second script was to have been written detailing what was not said, but needed to pass.

“Do you think you can like something if it’s gone?” Faye asks Lito. He responds with, “I know you can. Is not it ? A love song is a melancholic and bittersweet ode to love. The love of families, partners, friends. On the mountains, in the sky, on the lake. In the past, the present and the future, or all at once. All the many forms and manifestations of love have a purpose, no matter how fleeting or lasting. Love can mean always having a pot of coffee ready for the postman, burying a loved one so they have a good view, or the open road of possibility.


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