Synopsis: In a world where everyone’s heart is an object, and there’s intense societal pressure to dampen emotion, lonely Virtual Insurance broker Anabel (Anna Maguire, Violation, The Hummingbird Project) always follows her heart. At odds with this overly pragmatic society, and after devastating emotional blows, she rips her heart from her chest. She gives it to a man she’s fallen for, the strangely unfeeling George (Hamza Haq, NBC’s “Transplant”). Unburdened by her unique yet cumbersome heart, Anabel finds life easier. On the other hand, George begins to feel everything, to the shock of his overbearing mother, Mona (Veena Sood). Anabel soon realizes she needs to get her heart back if she’s going to survive.

Julia Lederer wrote the play “With Love and a Major Organ,” which she also adapted into a feature film. The film premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film & Television Festival, and the Canadian premiere was in July 2023 at the Fantasia Film Festival.

Kim Albright directed the film, edited by Tony Zhou with cinematography by Leonardo Harim.

I have seen this film described as “dystopian,” “Sci-Fi,” “drama,” and “fantasy.” Yes, it is a romantic drama and a simple story, but as described above, humans can remove their hearts from their bodies. Although the characters are seen taking the action, it is captured by the cinematographer from behind the individual. I have not seen the play and do not know how much humor it has, but the writer does have a certain level of humor that some viewers may like.

I found myself smiling (as in understanding the feeling of giddiness) when Anabel (Maguire) sits on the park bench and admiring George from afar as he reads the newspaper daily. When she is brave enough to approach him, it is evident that George does not understand her actions/words, nor does he demonstrate being able to do anything outside his routine. Anabel is not deterred and continues to contact him via cassette tapes. I find it an attractive choice by the filmmakers to use these tapes (some now consider them “old”) in a future world where we can decide to remove our hearts.

Many people are already familiar with apps in the current world, but in the future world where Anabel and George live, there is an app called LifeZapp. Oh yeah, the app that can make decisions for you, including selecting a partner. Anabel likes making her own choices until she hits a breaking point, and then we see a whole different Anabel that her boss and co-workers can’t recognize.

All the cast perform well individually, as well as when they interact in the story. Additional cast, among others, include Donna Benedicto and Arghavan Jenati.

This film started with a theatrical rollout in New York City, Los Angeles, followed by a national expansion in mid-April. Check local theaters for showtimes and online for digital when available.

Source: Circle Collective

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