Tailor | Raftis (2020)

November 22nd, 2021
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Sonia Liza Kenterman; Cast: Dimitris Imellos, Tamilla Koulieva, Stathis Stamoulaktos, Daphne Michopoulou, Thanasis Papagrogiou; Greece/Belgium/Germany 2020, 100 min.

The first feature film of Greek director/co-writer Sonia Liza Kenterman, a graduate of the London Film School, is a fine character study of a man in his early 50s who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, might be on the autism spectrum and is still a virgin. Unfortunately, Kenterman sticks to enigma, resulting in a rather sentimental meandering.

Despite his challenges Nikos Karalis (a brilliant Imellos), is under the cosh of his tyrannical father Thanasis (Papageorgiou), who has been in the tailoring business since the age of sixteen. But the demand for tailor-made suits is near zero in the recession plagued Greek capital of Athens and his clientele is now dwindling in the recession and the bank foreclosing on the shop and all other assets,.

The only joy in Nikos life is his relationship with Victoria (Michopoulou), the spoilt daughter of his neighbour Olga (Koulieva), a Russian emigrant, whom Nikos fancies, without being aware of it. Transformation is needed, after Thanasis is taken to hospital, suffering from cancer. Nikos becomes, overnight, a specialist in creating the most wonderful bridal robes and other feminine outfits. And he even finds the courage to go to bed with Olga – and event which naturally angers her jealous partner Kostas (Stamoulakatos) who destroys Nikos’ work place, sending him and his life possessions on a journey into the unknown. Will Nikos find the courage to fight for his first love?

There are subtle social comments, like the nurse, providing medicines for Nicos’ father in exchange for fashionable outfits. But overall, Tailor lacks a much needed bite, opting instead for an over saccharine approach resulting in a mundane feel-good movie, which panders to audiences’ expectations. A shame, since the impressive images of DoP Dimitris Mihelis and the wonderful ensemble acting deserve more than just another hard-luck story. AS

TAILOR WON THE FIPRESCI PRIZE AT THESSALONIKI FILM FESTIVAL 2020

 

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