1962. A glamorous American couple, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinth Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette's beauty and impressed by Chester's wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands and Chester's affable exterior hides darker secrets. When Rydal visits the couple at their exclusive hotel, Chester presses him to help move the body of a seemingly unconscious man who he claims attacked him. In the moment, Rydal agrees but as events take a more sinister turn he finds himself compromised and unable to pull himself free. His increasing infatuation with the vulnerable and responsive Colette gives rise to Chester's jealousy and paranoia, leading to a tense and ... Written by
In the beginning Rydal recounts the legend of Aegeus on the steps of the Acropolis and says that it was there that Aegeus jumped to his death after his son, Theseus returned from Crete and forgot to change the black sails to white to denote his success. This is untrue; you would not be able to see the Aegean from the Acropolis, anyway. According to the legend Aegeus was waiting for the ships to arrive at Cape Sounion and when he saw the black sails he plunged into the sea (which is called the Aegean Sea after him). It is unlikely that a tour guide would not know how to recount the legend properly. See more »
Seems to me this is as accurate a portrayal of 'competitive' dishonesty as you'll ever see. Viggo Mortensen sets the scene beautifully in a subtle early reference that he's not all that he seems. Dunst playing an ingénue caught up in the lies and deceits of more or less everyone around her also shows a progressive development into to something less than honest. One senses that all is not going to end well - but who will win out? Early emotional allegiances with your 'favourite' character will soon have you questioning your own judgement. What, if anything, would you do....? Eventually, with relentless inevitability, events turn sour - you cannot predict in which way until the action unfolds. Terrific, enthralling and tense story telling at a slow stroll. Fantastic. Go see!
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