Film Review: MLE (My Little Eye)

MLE Chase

Following its award-winning festival run, the kickstarter funded indie film MLE (My Little Eye) will be screened in selected UK cinemas next month.

Based on a true story, MLE tells the tale of Julie Robert (not Julia Roberts as she corrects on a daily basis) a Canadian actress who has just lost her only gig. Stranded in London with no money, no agent and no return flight, Julie finds herself accepting the job of private spying for a rich family. But what at first seems like a fun new acting role for Julie soon turns life belly-up when she gets deep into a world she didn’t expect.

Written and directed by Sarah Warren, MLE is a witty feature-length comedy drama with plenty of heart. Warren’s script is sharp and funny with some witty one-liners as well as some sincere and tender moments. Warren claims she was influenced by British comedies like Fawlty Towers and you can certainly see evidence of this in the film. Alongside the quick-witted gags and toilet humour is some great visual humour scenes such as the hilarious handshake-turned-hug between Julie and Bella, the woman she accidentally runs over with her car.

MLE London

What truly pulls MLE through is its talented cast. Warren plays the lead role as Julie (aka spy name Emily), the penniless actress and awkward amateur spy who doesn’t have the heart her to tell her family and friends the truth. This is the second role I have seen Warren in (the first being A Dozen Summers directed by Kenton Hall who coincidently also stars in the film) and she is funny, likeable and incredibly easy to watch.

Julie Sype plays a strong role as Julie’s wise-cracking, ball-busting, best friend Camilla, who causes more trouble by introducing Julie to some seedy characters and creepy agents. I personally would have liked to have seen more of Sype in the film but the scenes that she did appear in were smart, sarcastic and very funny. Ryan Mercier is also convincing as the confrontational yet charming Harry who takes Julie out on a few dates and shares her love for cake and video games.

Fellow cast members include Jo Price as Bella and Christopher Tajah as Joseph, the rich couple who offer Julie a job to spy on their daughter Joy (Deidre Garcia) and Orion Lee as Sebastian, Joy’s boyfriend who is actually the head of a cult in the middle of a long con on the family.

Stylistically, MLE looks great thanks to its use of overexposed colours and slick editing. I personally wasn’t keen on the scenes with the talking puppets (a little too bizarre for me) and the plot is a little wacky at times – especially when you consider it is based on a true story – but despite this, the feature is certainly entertaining and is sure to give you a few laughs.

Overall, MLE is a funny and enjoyable indie comedy worthy of its place on the big screen.

3.5 out of 5 stars

MLE is released in selected UK cinemas in October 2015.