|Index||2 reviews in total|
As I expected it was the appropriate choice of movie for a Saturday night. It's a great movie that combines entertainment and education. I believe that this movie brings Greek cinema in a higher level. All the people that participate in this production have made great job. The story is about a middle-aged man, Stavros whose life hasn't any surprises. He has a mini-market and not a lot of customers. With his friends, who have more or less the same interests, relax all day drinking coffee and playing football. Their only problems are Albanians. One of them has even trained his dog to bark to Albanians. However, one day Stavros' mother recognises her lost son in the eyes of an Albanian. The whole life of the main characters turns upside down wandering if Stavros is from Albania or not. On the other hand Savros tries to get her ex-wife back. Antonis Kafetzopoulos is unbelievable in the role. The movie is a combination of drama and comedy. It shows a reality that happens in so many countries and nations. I'm sure you will laugh but it will also make you think. I totally recommend it.
I saw this film at Noordelijk Filmfestival 2011 (in Leeuwarden,
province of Friesland NL). Reading about Greece almost daily in our
newspapers, each film about that country will be watched through
subjective eyes. Particularly in this case, we cannot overlook the
twofold (!) satirical elements embedded in the story. Firstly, we see
how some Greek people live and spend their time, doing not very much.
Even worse, they seem not to worry about that. Secondly, we see the
gradual invasion of Albanian and Chinese people, apparently
enterprising and busy with useful work. The discrepancy cannot be
demonstrated better. However, it may possibly be construed as painful
for those in Greece who really pull their weight.
On the other hand, though tempting it may be, my inclination to see a connection with today's economic crisis in the EU, may not be the main intention of the film makers. It is rather an open invitation to consider it applicable to life in Greece in general. I have that from a trustworthy source: An introductory speech by the director's wife (who happened to be here for another film), emphasized that the satirical elements applied to years before the current crisis as well.
There is no useful purpose in condensing the story here in a few sentences. Several complications form the core of the plot, causing surprising things to happen throughout the film. Many hilarious scenes make up an additional substance that succeeds in keeping our attention. Even those not interested in politics or social-economics, can watch and appreciate this film on other merits.
It may seem a bit long to take 103 minutes for the story to develop, but relevant scenes are distributed evenly and leave the intended impression. Anyway, the quiet tempo is appropriate for the Greek way of living, as showcased here very explicitly. An ingeniously constructed script, thanks to the mentally retarded mother who suddenly displays Albanian roots, provides for a strong story line. She is the unwilling cause that surprising things keep happening, without her mental state leading to uncomfortable moments for us viewers.
All in all, the insight it gave in the Greek way of living, be it intentionally satirical or not, confirmed suspicions we had all along. Same can be said about the visible presence of Chinese and Albanian people, with an apparently very different attitude against work. In the end, everything seems back to normal as far as the four neighbors are concerned. Or can it be that the past is not fully restored, and that some doubts remain? All things considered (script, acting, etc) I found enough reason to give a maximum score for the audience award when leaving the theater.
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