Greek Film Festival Review: Afterlov (Greece, 2016) is a quirky film that dissects the concept of a break-up

If a relationship break-up has ever left you questioning, “Why?” or “What’s next?” then Afterlov is the film for you. This Greek dramedy sees its main protagonist grappling with these questions to the point of obsession. So what is this leading man to do but confront these things as well as his ex. The only problem is that he won’t settle until he gets the answers he wants and the result is a veritable cornucopia of different emotions.

Nikos (Haris Fragoulis) is a musician who has just found himself in an enviable position. A friend has asked him to housesit a villa for a spell. The hardest work that Nikos has is to decide which cocktail to drink and whether to go swimming or play with the dog at any given moment. But this isn’t enough for Nikos and he decides that the best cause of action is to complicate what could be an interlude in paradise.

There is a breaking down of the fourth wall as Nikos tells the audience his story. He had been in a relationship with the beautiful Sofia (Iro Bezou), an only child whose parents are from Athens. Their relationship has ended but Nikos refuses to accept this and he’s beside himself as to why this even happened. Seeking answers, he invites Sofia over under the guise of some friendly rest and relaxation. Except that Nikos won’t let her leave until he gets the answers he is seeking about their break-up.

This film is a rather handsome and clever debut feature that is written and directed by Stergios Paschos who has previously made some short films. The result is something that could have been claustrophobic and boring but the engaging performances and noteworthy chemistry from the lead characters makes for a mostly interesting time. The audience will get behind this complex mess of laughter (including a food fight), introspection, fights (that actually turn physical) and talk, among other things.

Afterlov is a bittersweet look at a broken romance and the dashed dreams and hopes of two gorgeous young people. The idea is one that is intriguing, if a little repetitive. Afterlov ultimately is quite a lively, passionate and inventive meditation on modern love and romance that is both brutally honest and funny at times.

Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Afterlov is screening as part of The Greek Film Festival, which will taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane from the 10 October 2017. Check out the website, http://greekfilmfestival.com.au/ to catch what’s playing near you.