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Saturday, March 5th

Upstairs at 8:30 PM

Man With the Answers
 
Man With Answers - Trailer
Man With the Answers
(2021, 80 min)

Country: Greece, Cyprus and Italy

Director: Stelios Kammitsis

Studio: Artsploitation Flms

Language: English

SYNOPSIS:

Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis) is a twenty-something ex-diving champion - now working in a furniture factory and living with his sick grandmother in a seaside town in Greece. Distraught after her death, he decides to dust off her old car and travel to Germany to visit his estranged mother. On the ferry to Italy, he meets Matthias (Anton Weil), a talkative, inquisitive young German who is on his way home. Matthias persuades Victor to take him along. As they drive north, Victor's uptight, repressive personality clashes with the more free-spirited Matthias. But they soon find common emotional ground as their summer road trip takes unexpected turns. The Man with the Answers is a tender story of self-discovery, love and family... in all its many forms.


REVIEW:

"The Man with the Answers" aims for restraint but instead fails to either properly probe or articulate its characters.

A well-meaning and tentative entrant into the realm of slow-burn road trip romances, Stelios Kammitsisí The Man with the Answers is perhaps most noteworthy for telling the story of an all-male relationship in which its characters never once have a discussion about sexuality. This understated tale of greek diving champion Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis) and German traveler Matthias (Anton Weil), who meet on a ferry and end up journeying together from Italy through Germany, exhibits a curiously dispassionate approach to detailing intimate connection, which frustratingly prevents its central bond from ever feeling truly vital. The scriptís humdrum attitude toward interaction hardly helps matters, with prosaic dialogue that offers few opportunities to identify with either man (this is particularly true of Matthias, who, in spite of Weilís charismatic performance, remains a bit of an enigma throughout), resulting in many inert scenes that discourage viewers from ever becoming fully immersed in their encounter.

There seems to be a real reluctance on Kammitsisí part to offer an upfront discussion about queer identity, ably demonstrating that a film about romance can remain undefined by sexual orientation, but at the expense of threatening to alienate some of his audience. The representation of gayness in cinema has certainly come a long way since homosexual male characters were predominantly AIDS victims or the token best friend, and still, thereís something dishonest about a depiction of same-sex lovers in which they feel detached from their own sexuality. One would expect a natural point in a conversation for the subject of sex to arise between Victor and Matthias, and yet it never happens, as Kammitsis is evidently unwilling to have them relate to each other through their own experiences. And ultimately, thatís what is most conspicuously absent from The Man with the Answers, which, in an increasingly dating-app-dominated world, crucially fails to articulate the raw excitement that comes from meeting somebody in a truly organic setting.

-- Review by Calum Reed, Before We Vanish(http://wwww.inreviewonline.com)