"A Soft Soul Touched Something Hot and Melted"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Rouleman" is a cinematic marvel, a small masterpiece by Greek filmmaker Panos Karkanevatos, and constructed as a film within a film, as a documentary director tries to find the reason a young woman was murdered in a crime of passion. The story is about Loula, who lives in a small industrial town, and dreams of getting out and becoming a singer. When Kosmas comes to town from Athens, and falls in love with her at first sight, she thinks he might be her ticket to the big city. She doesn't realize that Kosmas is a romantic loser, going nowhere, and the web she weaves brings tragedy to all, in a drama that affected me deeply by its realistic depiction of human emotions and needs, and by the exquisite way this story is told. As the director (played by Dimitris Naziris) says, "We went on a journey in search of the truth. What motivates people, what they're hiding in their soul, what throws us down the abyss, what keeps us going."
Those who always imagine Greece as a sun-drenched land with olive trees and blue ocean will be amazed at the dreary, cold and barren landscapes in this film, and yet with the masterful cinematography of Dimitris Stamolis, the vistas are like paintings, and beautiful to look at. As Loula, Anna Sotiroudi is a sensual and exotic beauty, too fiery for her surroundings, and as Kosmas, the man attracted like a moth to that flame, Giorgios Glastras gives a fantastic performance. It also has a score by Gorgios Andreou that is moody and marvelous, and that adds a lot of atmosphere to the film. "Rouleman" is a film that should be seen more than once, to really appreciate the thread of the story. For those who enjoy the slower, more pensive pace of foreign films, this is one not to miss. Total running time is 88 minutes.