'With Love and a Major Organ' Dissects the Heart of Our Times

Directed by Kim Albright

Starring Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood, Donna Benedicto

Photo courtesy of the artists

BY Rachel HoPublished Mar 26, 2024

In her feature directorial debut, Kim Albright presents a lo-fi fable about modern society's increasing detachment from humanity. With Love and a Major Organ plays within a variety of genres, embracing a wide spectrum of tones to create an eclectic and unique film.

Anabel (Anna Maguire) and George (Hamza Haq) play two sides of the same coin. At the beginning of the film, Anabel is the Technicolor in an otherwise black-and-white world. She carries a zest for life and all its intricacies, which is at odds with the pragmatic world around her that lives and breathes according to an app dictating everyone's decisions. George is a part of that status quo. He's unfeeling and utilitarian; like the rest of the population, life for George has no greys. 

When Anabel and George cross paths, Anabel quickly falls in love, but when George doesn't return these feelings, she promptly rips her heart out and sends it to him. Suddenly, Anabel's spark is non-existent and she falls in line with the rest of the world, whereas George, who replaced his heart with Anabel's, is now completely overwhelmed with emotions and struggling to manage them.

Maguire and Haq are handed rich material any actor would love to dive into, and both deliver moving turns. The flip between Anabel and George notably does not simply elicit a one-to-one switch in Maguire and Haq's performances. Refreshingly, both play their characters' newfound perspectives in different registers that go beyond a typical personality swap.

With Love and a Major Organ has moments of fantastical surrealism, including a whimsical dance sequence that is reminiscent of a bygone era of film, as well as the premise that hearts are inanimate objects that can be removed and replaced. Albright grounds each of these elements with a down-to-earth production quality that grants audiences the ability to suspend disbelief easily, which is further aided by a humorous script by Julia Lederer. 

Albright succeeds in her first directorial outing by executing a simple narrative into a straightforward film that ignites the imagination. There are many themes throughout the film that will mark With Love and a Major Organ as a product of the 2020s, creating a contemporary fairytale while foreshadowing our culture's move toward an indifferent and disconnected future.

Albright's direction and Lederer's script don't lecture, nor are they alarmist. Instead, With Love and a Major Organ serves as a myth that reads increasingly more fact than fiction, and we can take from that what we will. 
(Common Knowledge Films)

Latest Coverage