A Hundred Lies: Duelling Stories in the Music Biz

“Most people, at some time in their lives, tap into the… juice… but it’s the sauce that has swagger.” – Terrance, A Hundred Lies

Directed by Rouzbeh Heydari, A Hundred Lies tells the story of Ricky (Rob Raco), a once-popular artist in Toronto’s music scene who believes that it might finally be time for his big break. With his best friend, Damian (Dana Abraham) serving as his manager, Ricky gets connected with an underground producer who believes his star is on the rise. But, as he fights to make it in the business, Damian’s personal demons begin to reappear in the high-pressure music business.

Though the film features some strong performances, especially by Abraham and Raco, the true star of the film is its soundtrack. Backed by a number of hot tracks, Hundred taps into the heat of underground Toronto music scene. With a variety of styles, almost every tune feels like a hit, making it a soundtrack well-worth exploring after the credits roll.

As he attempts to navigate his way through the troubled waters of the music scene, Ricky seems to be a man who wishes to stay on the straight and narrow. Having grown up with an alcoholic father, he refuses to fall into the temptations and pressures that he faces on a daily basis. However, although the film is built around Ricky’s journey upwards, Lies spends as much time with his failures as it does with his successes. Without giving any spoilers, the rise to fame is far from a smooth ride, even for the most noble of heart. And Ricky is no exception.

But, even so, the most interesting aspect of Lies is the way that it parallels its stories. While Ricky seems destined for stardom, Damian struggles to break free from his own cycle of poverty. Although he works hard and wants to find success, the world seems to hold him back. Struggling to get by, Damian begins to compromise his integrity in the hopes of digging himself out of his financial hole but keeps falling further below. In doing so, Lies highlights the fact that, for every Ricky, there remain dozens (or even hundreds) of others who never find success. To them, stardom remains a dream that lies just out of reach and the pressure to make bad decisions grows even greater.

Admittedly, if there’s an issue with these Lies, it’s quite simply that the story feels familiar. Even with good work from its leads and incredible music, one can’t help but feel that the story seems to borrow from other films of this nature. Co-written by Heydari, Abraham and Shane R. Preston, Lies knows what it wants to do… but doesn’t always feel fresh when it does it. 

Having said this, A Hundred Lies still has pop. While it’s not quite a hit, Lies manages to chart on the backs of its stars and soundtrack. This is a story that has something to say about breaking the cycle of poverty against overwhelming circumstances. Because of this, while the film doesn’t always have the ‘sauce’ that it wants, it still has the juice that it needs to make it work.

A Hundred Lies is available in theatres and on VOD on Friday, May 3rd, 2024. 

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