Beautifully executed, Tim Kirkman’s latest work, Lazy Eye delivers a dynamic story of past love reignited and questions about present, past, and future.
Dean, played by Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, is a graphic designer working for a design firm based in LA. A recent eye doctor appointment forces Dean to confront an issue he is not quite ready for – the issue of getting older. Forced to switch to progressive lenses, Dean struggles with learning how to simply see the design projects in front him, while being graciously assisted by his witty colleague, Mel (Michaela Watkins).
Somewhere between ridiculous revision requests to his work and learning how to “point with your nose” if you want to see better, Dean discovers an unsettling surprise. An email from a past love hits Dean’s inbox. Hesitant at first, Dean decides to explore this connection, perhaps seeking closure for how his heart was broken by this man 15 years prior. After some email exchanges and bottled up frustration, the two men agree to meet at Dean’s investment property in Joshua Tree, CA.
When Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis) arrives at Dean’s place the two men appear to pick up right where they left off so many years ago. Clothing peels off and they promptly end up in each other’s arms in the bedroom. However, this tryst is not all fun and games. In the ensuing 48 hours, each of these two men reveal some important secrets about themselves regarding who they are now, why they really parted so long ago, and where they both want to go.
Though this film only features the two main characters for most scenes, Kirkman’s script in Lazy Eye contains enough movement to maintain direction and deliver up a few surprises, yet is still delicate enough to let the audience really bond with both Dean and Alex. Kirkman also employs many symbols in this project, including the choice of the Mojave Desert as a backdrop. The arid, expansive landscape offers complete solitude, save for the Joshua trees with their outstretched branches reaching for the sun. Though together throughout, each man takes a personal journey in the desert landscape, discovering something new about each other and themselves. Dean continues to find himself pulling drowned mice from his swimming pool – the tragic result of wandering too close to danger.
At film’s end, we find that Dean and Alex may have both discovered what they truly want and need out of life. A journey some 15 years in the making is finally completed after one weekend in the desert, and the past can at long last be buried.