Film Review – Suntan

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In association with the GFT

Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ romantic comedy cum satirical drama Suntan tells the story of Kostis (Makis Papadimitriou), a middle aged man who takes up the post of doctor on a small Greek island with a resident population of 800. A friendly if introverted individual, Kostis quickly becomes popular amongst the islanders, in particular Takis (Yannis Tsortekis), who promises Kostis that when summer comes to the island it brings with it carnal temptations in the form of young women (referred to by Takis only by their genitalia) with a desire to dance, drink and ‘get laid’.

Kostis tells Takis that he is too old for such activities but when one particular young tourist, Anna (Elli Tringou), arrives at his surgery with a motorbike injury, he appears to forget all about any age related taboos (in their first conversation he points out that he is twice Anna’s age).

The beguiling Anna has Kostis under her spell immediately, and invites him to hang out with her and her friends for the month that they are staying on the island. As they spend more time together their relationship becomes murkier and more complex, and it quickly becomes clear that it is not only the audience who do not understand its exact nature. Kostis discovers a new love for nightclubs, alcohol and women – or rather one woman in particular – but these distractions may well come to threaten his friendships, his career, and more.

Papadimitriou is best known for his role as Dimitris in Chevalier, in which he plays an underwhelming and ordinary middle aged man who pushes and breaks the limits of his comfort zone in order to impress a group of old friends. Here Papadimitriou inhabits an almost indistinguishable part, aside from the fact that rather than old friends it is instead a group of young strangers who he is trying to make an impression on. The greatest shame of Suntan is that it feels a little too safe, especially in the third act in which the film never quite sticks its landing, as though it loses its nerve at the last minute. As a result, despite an entertaining and at times unnerving 90 minutes, I was left feeling strangely let down and disappointed.

This film will be screened at the Glasgow Film Theatre from the 30th of April to the 4th of May, tickets are available here:

The GFT also offers a free 15-25 discount card for students, available here:

[Tim Abrams]

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