Papadopoulos and Sons
Harry Papadopoulos (Stephen Dillane) seems to have everything he needs – a family, a great house, an amazing career and recognition from his peers and co-workers. But there’s something offbeat: Mr. Papadopoulos never smiles.
Marcus Markou, director of Papadopoulos & Sons, tells the story of a family. Two brothers are reunited by bankruptcy, and reopen their old fish and chip shop with family in tow; ancient grudges resurface and family bonds are restored. The story, full of sad notes and tragic potential, is tempered by a light-hearted atmosphere that provokes plenty of laughs.
The characters are convincing – while the Papadopoulos family is a stereotype, the director wisely plays with clichés, reversing and destroying them, and revealing more behind the scenes. There are all the right ingredients but something goes wrong along the way. Markou’s film doesn’t really stand out from the crowd, and it remains an almost great product, which is probably worse than simply being one of the many.
The film would have been improved if Markou had resisted the temptation to stuff the story with cheesy details, but the sloppy and hurried twists in the plot, intended to move the public, aren’t right in context and raise more eyebrows than tears. There are interesting sparks in the narrative, but unfortunately they are only hinted at and never examined in depth.
The great mix of photography and music help make the story more convincing. Although the scene is London, bright and vivid photography recalls the colours of Greece and original folk music evokes the typical atmosphere of the Mediterranean peninsula.
Papadopoulos & Sons is Markou’s first feature-length film, following a series of short films, and he seems to struggle to keep a story running for longer, but the writing is witty and entertaining. He is definitely a director to keep an eye on as he gains confidence in the industry.
Papadopoulos & Sons is released nationwide on 5th April 2013.
Watch the trailer for Papadopoulos & Sons here: