The Two Faces Of January

I’d never even heard of this film until my dad suggested we go and see it one evening. It looked fairly decent so I agreed and definitely didn’t regret it.

The Two Faces of January film poster.jpg

It starred Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, and Oscar Isaac whom I’d never heard of previously but proved himself to be a very good actor and quite good looking too. The main thing I liked about this small budget film was the fact that the story was simple yet powerful and truly believable unlike many of the films in the cinema at the moment.

It was shot beautifully and captures the serenity and tranquillity of Greece perfectly although I have never actually been. Set in the 60s, the story begins in Athens where a middle aged couple are holidaying abroad. They encounter American tour guide, Rydal (Isaac) who is besotted with Colette (Dunst) and offers to show the couple around Greece in an effort to get closer to her. However, Chester (Mortensen) recognises what the young man is trying to do and voices his thoughts to his wife who just smiles on humbly.

Rydal tricks them into many things as he speaks the Grecian language but assures the couple he is only helping them. Things take a darker turn when Rydal leaves them at the hotel they are staying at and they are visited by a business man Chester knows from back home. Chester is caught up in a money laundering scheme and ends up killing the man accidently which he effectively hides from his wife with the help of Rydal who returns to give Colette back the bracelet she left in the taxi.

Soon, Chester realises he is all over the news and is wanted for murder so had no choice but to enlist the help of Rydal who agrees to get them fake passports to get back home. Completely unaware, Colette is told her husband has pressing business matters to attend to back home and they must travel back as soon as possible. However, it takes a few days for the passports to be ready so they are left in Greece with Rydal to show them round.

He becomes ever closer to Colette who is disgusted at her husband’s behaviour towards him and eventually finds out the horrors of what Chester has done on a tour bus when she sees both their pictures in the paper.

It is a brilliant film full of betrayal and deceit with the underlying moral that travelling in a foreign country can be dangerous. The actors are fantastic and you completely sympathise with Chester and Colette for different reasons right up until the end where the story takes a dramatic turn. Definitely a must see for all film lovers and indie fans. Not your typical over rated blockbuster and not so long that your bum becomes numb either!

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