Review of "Suntan (DVD)"

published 13/01/2018 | thedevilinme
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"The dark side of the Sun"

Suntan (DVD)

Suntan (DVD)

Star – Greek islands
Genre – Comedy
Run Time – 1 hr 44 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – Greece
Awards – 5 Wins & 2 Nominations
Amazon – £10.75 DVD – £12.67 Blue-Ray
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The mid-life crises strikes us all in some way, some bottling it up, some hitting the bottle, some getting a new hair color out of that bottle, if you still have your hair, the topic of Suntan, a light and then rather dark Greek comedy. I haven’t seen many films from Greece of late as they tend not to pitch up in the U.K. but this one turned up on Film4 ad as the description promised hedonism and sunshine I couldn’t resist recording it.

It did no real business at $145,000 box office but often the case with decent foreign movies as very few people are prepared to invest the time in subtitles. If only they knew what they were missing. The IMDB top 250 would look very different if they did. This is not a great movie by all means but certainly an interesting one that will stay with you, especially the final scene.

Cast

• Makis Papadimitriou as Kostis
• Elli Tringou as Anna
• Hara Kotsali as Alin
• Milou Van Groessen as Mila
• Dimi Hart as Jason
• Marcus Collen as Morten
• Yannis Tsortekis as Takis
• Pavlos Orkopoulos as the mayor
• Syllas Tzoumerkas as Orestis


Plot

Balding and chubby Kostis (Makis Papadimitriou) is the new GP on a small Greek holiday island and greeted by the welcoming mayor (Pavlos Orkopoulos). It’s out of season when he arrives and so time to bed in and mingle with the dwindling, mostly elderly 800 or so population around Christmas time. One or two of the middle aged local guys are gleefully anticipating the long summer months on the island, especially medallion wearing ladies man Takis (Yannis Tsortekis), a crude villager who reassures the doc that the island is not always like this and will be flooded with young women ‘up for it’, especially at the nudist beach.

When summer arrives Kostis’s surgery is full of tourists with cuts, sprains, sunburn and bruises and long days ahead. But he insists on closing up at 3pm every day to enjoy the sun, local beer and food. When he treats a rowdy young obnoxious tourist group he befriends them when a pretty and leggy blonde called Anna (Elli Tringou) takes a shine to him. Her sexy and cool friends Alin (Hara Kotsali), Mila (Milou Van Groessen), Jason (Dimi Hart) and Morten (Marcus Collen) go along with it and the less than attractive doc is soon chilling with them at the beach for the summer. He amuses them in his own way and Anna seems to be attracted to him somehow so a bond of sorts.

There hedonistic lifestyle in the clubs and bars pulls the doc in and he is soon infatuated with Anna, neglecting his surgery duties. On one occasion, he turns away an elderly woman who has complained of back pain so he can leave for the beach to meet his new friends as soon as his office closes, angering the local community heads, shop owner Orestis (Syllas Tzoumerkas) telling him to his face. But he is hooked on Anna and his infatuation begins to take a darker turn when she begins to tire of the fat balding doctor.

Results

This is one of those films where some viewers don’t like what they are experiencing, rather than what they are seeing, why they mark down the film, perhaps. We don’t like to see plain ugly people in lead roles as it reminds us of our own normality. It’s certainly an interesting and challenging watch around male masculinity and youth. Kostis could be any fifty-year old guy who pathetically hangs on to the last sparkle of youth knowing all of the treats of being young are about to be extinguished in the very near future. I’m nearly 50 and used to look at girls all the time in my early 40s and some would look back. Now they look away, purse their lips, subtly grip their bag strap harder in fear of being robbed and head down and shuffle on by. It’s hard to take that you are now seen as a threat to women when you are their biggest fan and still 21at heart. This film is about that transition from youth to old with no in-between.

Its very well acted and delivered and after a taste of tourist ouzo the film takes that turn for the seedy as our leading man realizes he is anything but and simply an animal in a petting zoo on the playground of youth. We have all had that moment when you realize the girl or boy you really like is not as keen and you are being strung along for whatever reason but you don’t want to believe that and pathetically start clutching at straws. Here it’s a middle aged guy doing that with a young girl. It is the perfect metaphor for the mid life crisis. Makis Papadimitriou is superb in the lead, sad as he is delusional in his involving performance.

Because of its increasingly dark themes it’s not a fluffy watch and your body begins to fight it like an infection by half-way. It’s a film that wants you to not like it as it plays with traditional stereotypes of a love story. But, like I say, it stays with you and that is the mark of a good movie.

RATINGS


Imdb.com – /10.0 (3,234votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 74% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 59% critic’s approval

Trailer

Special Features


None

Critics

Village Voice –‘Suntan pulls you into this strange man's world before slyly and slowly turning the tables. You won't like the darkness you find there’.

The Mail –‘The comedy is sniggery and the tragedy, at last, exasperated - the bland Suntan of the title hiding the carcinogens stirring under the skin’.

Irish Times –‘See it, from between your fingers. But only if you're not in the throes of a midlife crisis’.

Film Comment –‘The solace that we can all take from Suntan, however, is that this is an extraordinary, exuberant, and inventive piece of cinema, and a finely crafted character sketch and essay in dark moral comedy’.

The independent –‘There have been many films about middle-aged angst and disappointment but what makes Argyris Papadimitropoulos' Suntan so striking is that it is set in the middle of August on a baking hot Greek island, full of tourists out to have a good time’.

Los Angeles Times –‘Whatever director Argyris Papadimitropoulos and his co-writer, Syllas Tzoumerkas, had in mind, a full rethink was in order’.

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Comments on this review

  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 15/01/2018
    Haha, one to try
  • Secre published 15/01/2018
    Nicely done
  • Soho_Black published 15/01/2018
    This sounds surprisingly interesting.
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Product Information : Suntan (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country Of Origin: Greece

EAN: 5201802091073

Genre: Comedy

Video Category: World Cinema Feature Film

Sub Genre: Comedy

Actor(s): Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou, Dimi Hart

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s): Argyris Papadimitropoulos

Production Year: 2016

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 21/12/2017