The Effects of Lying
It’s a normal morning for mild-mannered father Naveen (Ace Bhatti) and his family when viewers are introduced to them at the start of ITVX drama The Effects Of Lying. However, everything changes when he and his teenage daughter (Lauren Patel) catch his wife (Laila Rouass) having a passionate affair with Naveen’s brother (Navin Chowdhry). While already a devastating discovery for Naveen, his day only worsens as the ensuing events snowball out of control within the space of a single day.
With a script penned by James Hey, director Isher Sahota’s drama sets its sights on being both a chaotic comedy and intimate family saga. Unfortunately, it never manages to succeed at being either, consequently turning this dramedy into a peculiar comedy of errors with little laughs or drama to show for it.
The best part of the flick is the moments between Bhatti and Patel. It’s only in the handful of interactions between father and daughter that the writing is given the opportunity to explore the characters and themes in any sort of depth, as they talk about their desires to find happiness in life. Likewise, their performances lend these scenes a degree of intimacy not seen anywhere else in the film.
Outside of the father-daughter talks, Hey’s screenplay escalates to ludicrous heights with each new revelation and heated confrontation until the screenplay enters farce territory. Whether it’s the mother suddenly deciding that she wants to sleep with her daughter’s friend (Adam Bregman) only hours after being caught having an affair or a subplot involving a psychic vision, it doesn’t take long for plot beats to become wildly melodramatic for the sake of creating more drama.
The intention is to create laughs from the sheer absurdity of the situation, however, the film plays everything far too seriously to be seen as a comedy. Moreover, the stints from the cast lack the conviction for the more serious scenes to land as they should. No matter which way this family affair is approached, the pieces don’t quite fit as they were meant to.
Although committed turns from Bhatti and Patel lend some heart to the family drama at the heart of The Effects Of Lying, a combination of overcooked melodrama and undercooked performances sees Sahota’s project fall flat.
The Effects of Lying is released on 6th July 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Effects of Lying here: