Nobody – SIFF 2011 Movie Review

Nobody [  Greece (Greek, Russian and Albanian), 2011, 96 minutes ]
Director: Christos Nikoleris
Principal Cast: Georgina Liossi, Antinoos Albanis, Efi Stamouli, Nikolas Papagiannis, Giorgos Papageorgiou, Dimitris Kapenakos
See it: May 27, 29, 31, 2011 at SIFF

Nobody attempts to retell Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a modern Greek tragedy while weaving in immigrant racial tensions and gang like activity with Fast Five style street racing. It feels like it tries too hard to be many different things.

The cast was pretty to look at and the world was fun to explore.

Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: B-
If you happen to be a fan of Romeo and Juliet spinoffs, give it a try and see what it does for you. Will the ending ever change?

Film Festivalness: It’s an international film!
There aren’t a lot of Greek movies around, so it provides some nice balance. However, the movie is about Albanian and Russian immigrants who happen to be in Greece, so it’s not really that Greek.

Story Adaptation: C
I don’t think the story knows what it wants to be. The characters go by the traditional Shakespearean names and while I can recognize some characteristics shared with the original Shakespeare work, I don’t think the story is close enough to warrant using the same character names. This film would be more successful if it were inspired by Romeo and Juliet instead of trying to be Romeo and Juliet.

SIFF Provided Synopsis:
Infusing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with a contemporary Athenian migrant setting, director Christos Nikoleris has crafted a film that successfully blends the original play with shades of Homer. The familiar gangs of youth are represented by Goran, a young Russian, and Julia, a young Albanian girl, who fall tragically in love amidst the ethnic conflict of their friends and family who are prone to settling disputes with illegal street racing through the streets of Athens. As the tension mounts, Nikoleris captures the cultural nuances of these young people trapped in a cycle of ethnic violence and hatred. Julia and Goran are painted as wild children, not only madly in love but also living on the edge of constant danger just by spending time with each other. From the moment they set eyes on each other, the romance between hunky Antinoos Albanis and Georgina Liossi (in a fiery debut performance) sizzles with passion and provides the strong central relationship around which the supporting characters violently interact. With gorgeous widescreen cinematography and kinetic editing, Nobody rewards the audience with a transcendent ending that perfectly marries Shakespeare and Homer in a lingering statement of triumphant true love. Recommended for Ages 15+ (contains gang violence and a scene of sexuality).


Provided Film Synopsis

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