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Review by Rich Cline |
dir Argyris Papadimitropoulos
scr Rob Hayes, Argyris Papadimitropoulos
prd Christos V Konstantakopoulos, Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Deanna Barillari, Brian Kavanaugh Jones, Damian Jones
with Sebastian Stan, Denise Gough, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Dominique Tipper, Andreas Konstantinou, Elli Tringou, Sofia Kokkali, Syllas Tzoumerkas, Marisha Triantafyllidou, Alexandros Logothetis, Vasso Kavalieratou, Panagos Ioakeim
release US 16.Apr.21
TORONTO FILM FEST
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With a simple premise and an offhanded approach, Greek filmmaker Argyris Papadimitropoulos tells an engaging story infused with comedy, drama and a surprisingly resonant lightning-bolt romance that must face some harsh realities when Monday comes around. With its relaxed structure, following two strangers who discover a profound connection, the film is overlong and uneven, but it features several terrific scenes that have an improvisational feel and punchy impact.
On a Friday-night in an Athens nightclub, American DJ Mickey (Stan) has a drunken snog with partying lawyer Chloe (Gough), and they wake up naked on a beach. The police are friendly ("beach: clothes, home: no clothes"), but Chloe is moving home the States tomorrow after a breakup. So as she accompanies Mickey to an island gig, he only has a few hours to talk her out of it. A week later, she's moving in with him, they're meeting each others' friends and revealing their pasts. The question is how to keep that spark alive.
The cast and crew take full advantage of sunny locations, as Mickey and Chloe ride on his scooter, take an island-hopping ferry, swim in the sea and dance under the stars. Their connection has an earthy edge, unsure where they're headed after the way they met, even as they recognise a deeper bond. And yes, they end up naked on another beach. But of course they can't remain on a romantic high for ever. Each of them has issues they're dealing with, including exes (Tringou and Konstantinou) that need confronting.
Stan is likeable as an easygoing guy surprised by how quickly he falls for this woman. Their chemistry is played with fizzy charm and a magnetic sense of physical attraction. Gough's role is much more intense: she's the one who drives the story's deeper emotionality. Both the ways they come together and the things that divide them are played beautifully. And the flurry of energetic friends who come and go around the edges add realistic touches that are layered with detail.
The lively narrative progresses through seemingly random events and colourful people, balancing silliness with darker emotionality, often within the same scene. So cracks that become apparent in this relationship feel unnervingly truthful, echoing everyday issues in painful clashes. Most of their problems spring out of uncertainty and fear, plus perhaps rather too much alcohol and cocaine. And the way the film captures the tension between impulse and intentionality carries a moving kick.
R E A D E R R E V I E W SStill waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.
© 2021 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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