From director/writer Hossein Amini and Magnolia Pictures comes a travel lesson learned the hard way with THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY.
American couple Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst) travel to Greece to enjoy being together. All of that comes quickly to a stop when a hired detective comes looking for Chester. Their conversation turns sour and panic sets in.
They meet Rydal (Oscar Issac) also an American living in Greece to get away from his family. Taken with the MacFarland’s he does everything he can to help the couple get out of town.
But Chester begins to suspect that Rydal isn’t being straight and believes it has to do with his lovely wife. Rydal learns that Chester has a large amount of money. The lines are clearly drawn from Greece to Crete and Instanbul the chase begins.
After an incident in the ruins, Chester wants nothing to do with Rydal and so begins a twisted relationship between the two men with an outcome that is startling!
FINAL WORD: Mortensen as Chester gets a chance to really get into this role. Beginning with such confidence there is this slow role to chaos. It’s nice to see Mortensen get his hands dirty because with this character I certainly don’t trust anything he says or does…yet.
Issac as Rydal is a conflicting character. Easily drawn to Dunst character he becomes a little obsessive but never quite looses his thieving edge. This character is on equal footing trust wise with Mortensen’s and gives a hook to the chase.
Dunst has a small role really that sets up the conflict between the two men. She is lovely and looks amazing in the clothes set in the era of the film.
Other cast include: Daisy Bevan as Lauren, David Warshofsky as Paul Vittorio, Yigit Ozsener as Yahya and Omiros Poulakis as Nikos.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a slow paced film with an edgy cat and mouse game but – who is the cat and who is the mouse? The performances are well done and although there are slow moments, it is in those slow moments where hints of who these characters really are and what they are capable of are presented.
I loved the cinematography for the scenery that adds to the suspense. The costume designer should get serious kudos because there are stellar outfits in this film. Seeing Mortensen in his dapper linens and Dunst in a stunning dress is pretty sweet.
In the end – some secrets can kill you!