Look Behind You
Diary Of A Spy
Stars: Tamara Tylor, Reece Noi, Fred Melamed, Susan Sullivan, Jon Lindstrom, Madeline Zima and Paulina Neija
Director/Scriptwriter: Adam Christian Clark
Composer: Slow Dakota
Cinematography: David McFarland
Blueberry Films/XYR Films
Running Length: 99 Minutes
With a film title of “Diary of a Spy,” one would expect to be peeking over the shoulder of someone writing hurriedly at 3 a.m. before the bad guys close in. In this film, it isn’t that close, but for this spy, Leila (Tamara Taylor from “Bones”) there is plenty to write about. Leila has a past that confronts her each day and that is where Tamara Taylor shines, as a woman who can’t come to grips with her past. Along for the ride is Reece Noi (“Game of Thrones”) who wishes he had a past to revisit. His life is rather dull. Opposites do attract, sometimes.
The story line has Leila drinking herself into oblivion over a former assignment that had her group of people killed. It haunts her each day. The Bureau, headed by “S” (Susan Sullivan from “Castle”) is about to let Leila go, when one more assignment is offered, and this is to get close to someone (Camden) in a Saudi family and access information. Leila decides to take the assignment and finds it is easy to meet the target – he is bashful, seems afraid of girls. and is a young man. In the meantime, they are slowly getting to know each other and there is a surprise in store for Leila. What to do next? Along the way, we meet a friend of Leila’s, George (Jon Lindstrom from “General Hospital”) and the person Camden is guarding/tutoring, played by newcomer Paulina Leija. Behind this, though, are the hard facts of espionage and its dangers.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this film has a love story between two opposites and they go together well. There is the forward/hard drinking Leila, older than Camden, and the youthful young man who sees life as an older person. She keeps pulling him out of his shell (dancing) and at the same time, she is coming out of her shell. Camden’s face as he carefully mulls over Leila’s statements or date proposals is a study in acting. Leila, on the other hand, always has a glass of liquor in her hand. She has to report to her authority and Camden has to be with his student, though he is more of a listener to her. It is when Leila’s drinking lessens and lessens, you realize something good is happening there. The rest of the cast does fine, but it really is a film about two people and the saying “opposites attract.”
Set design is darkened as most of the action is at night in clubs or walking the streets. Music is appropriate to the scenes and director Adam Christian Clark’s decision to let the camera linger on faces instead of backgrounds is a good one. This speaks volumes without a script. A somber film turns into something entirely different.
Copyright 2022 Marie Asner