Film Review: Lost in Karastan

There have been many films written about the film industry and film-making. It’s a subject which has enthralled and fascinated audiences over the ages, harking back to Golden Age classics such as A Star is Born, Singing in the Rain and Sunset Boulevard. With the success of The Artist, Adaptation and Birdman at the box office and the award circuits it it still remains a popular subject. Ben Hopkins’ Lost in Karastan takes a more light-hearted look at film-making, throwing in a large dollop of politics into the mix.

Emil Forester (Matthew Macfadyen) is a respected independent film-maker who’s won an Academy Award for one of his short films. However, Emil’s creativity has dried up and he finds himself down on his luck and struggling to make a living. When he’s invited to be a special guest at the Palchuk Film Festival in the autonomous Republic of Karastan it seems that his fortunes have changed. However, all is not as it seems as his encounters with a mysterious woman (Myanna Buring) and the self-proclaimed president (Richard Van Weyden) lead him into danger.

Lost in Karastan is a rather refreshing British film. There are all the obvious stereotypical swipes at Eastern European corruption, poverty, dictatorships and revolution whilst merging it with understated drama and romance. There’s good acting all round and Macfadyen convinces in the lead role. Lost in Karastan is a comedy drama which opts for subtlety over slapstick in approaching the subject of dictatorships and film-making.

Lost in Karastan is out in cinemas and on demand from Friday.

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