It’s fair to say that Greece doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to cinema. There’s the occasional film which has been successful outside of Hellas, such as The Travelling Players, Stella or O Drakos, but these are few and far between. However, Greek cinema is currently having a really profitable period. This is largely down to the work of Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps) and Athina Rachel Tsangari (Attenberg, Chevalier). Argyris Papadimitropoulos’s new film Suntan is the latest to travel and it’s an absorbing drama about loneliness.
Kostis (Makis Papadimitriou) is a middle-aged man full of regret. His new posting is to the job of doctor on a tiny island. Despite the residents being welcoming, he endures a bleak and lonely winter during the off-season. When summer arrives, the island is suddenly heaving with tourists. When the flirty Anna (Elli Tringou) appears in his surgery, Kostis begins to hang-out with her young hedonistic group. However, infatuation quickly becomes obsession.
Suntan is an intriguing character study of man whose life is sliding rapidly downhill. Makis Papadimitriou impresses in the lead role. Portraying Kostis’ depression, loneliness and infatuation with equal aplomb, his mannerisms subtly illustrate his underlying unhappiness. It’s a story which slowly boils until everything eventually unravels in a slightly bizarre and unpalatable way. Suntan is an engaging drama which is held together by a superb central performance.
Suntan is out in cinemas from Friday.