The Two Faces of January: Be careful who you believe

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Warm and welcoming, a tour guide shows a darker side when he meets a glamorous American couple on holiday in Athens

A dream trip to Athens takes a more sinister turn when the charismatic Chester Macfarland (played by Viggo Mortensen) and his sexy young wife Collette Macfarland (played by the ravishing Kirsten Dunst) meet cheeky tour guide Rydal (played by Oscar Isaac).

What starts as a delightful offer to come to dinner soon changes when tension between the two men develops. Just who is the target in this suspense thriller: the girl or the allure of cheating a rich couple out of thousands of dollars?

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Holiday Gone Wrong

Rydal is forthright and charismatic. He’s everything anyone could ever want from a tour guide. However, the Greek-speaking American hides a darker side to him.

As things begins to brew under the surface, Chester starts to become suspicious about the man who has a strange attraction to his wife.

Although set in the comparatively simpler time of 1962, the filmmaker Hossein Amini makes his directorial debut with a series of chilling lessons that resonate today.

Far from a tale of love and conflict in an exotic European nation, The Two Faces of January is a gritty look at what can happen when one decides to leave the safe shores of home.

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When the Light Goes Out

Amini takes Patricia Highsmith’s original novel of the same name and replicates the descent into darkness. Despite the luxurious surroundings, the plot soon transforms into something deeper and darker.

When Rydal is seen hiding the body of an unconscious man, Chester discovers there’s more than meets the eye.

Highsmith is the author of the Talented Mr Ripley and other related novels in the series. It is not surprising that The Two Faces of January echoes some of the same dark themes.

What can be described as a story that sometimes lacks logic and rationality gets under the skin and hangs on tightly. Whatever happens when you see the film you can guarantee the images of Rydal, Chester, and Collette will stick with you.

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY [PG13]

DIRECTOR: Hossein Amini
STARRING: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst & Oscar Isaac
GENRE: Suspense, Thriller
RUN LENGTH: 97 min
RELEASE: May 29

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