Christoforos Papakaliatis makes an assured directorial début with the romantic drama "An..." [Eng. Title: What If...] - a film that'd also become a personal project, with him in a starring role and also writing its screenplay. Set against the backdrop of the current economic crisis, it looks at the ensuing strains placed on a young couple's relationship.
Film director Dimitris (Christoforos Papakaliatis) is a happy singleton living with his aptly named dog Lonesome in the shadow of the Acropolis - the old quarter of Athens. The film explores in parallel two different outcomes following his encounter with young architect Christina (Marina Kalogirou) after slightly altering the course of an event.
Papakaliatis allows us to observe the couple's altered fortunes in tandem by drawing inspiration from a Hollywood hit (Sliding Doors), and also paying homage to a home-grown classic from the sixties, in utilising its aged protagonists 'in character' as part of the film's narrative. It works well in cinematic terms, as much as it succeeds in pulling at its native audience's heartstrings. While the cinematography is professional, it is the choice of locations that would most likely appeal to the foreign audience. Performances by the lead characters may not be particularly special, but they're extremely easy on the eye, and alongside the cute German Shepherd thrown into the cast, it is apparent that the director has strived to ensure its commercial success by dotting the i's and crossing the t's. This might well be aimed at a 'mainstream' audience, but it certainly isn't tacky or clichéd - it is sincere as much as it wants to entertain - it is Recommended Viewing..!
Amazon DVD Link [PAL]
The Nudity: Marina Kalogirou and Christoforos Papakaliatis
There's just a single scene of nudity in the film - with a gorgeous-as-ever Marina Kalogirou and the director-protagonist Christoforos Papakaliatis, in a sex scene inter-cut with their characters frolicking on the streets of Athens. Nice! :-)