Howdy ladies and gents, once again I resurface from the underworld to give you a new film review and today I’ll be talking about The Two Faces of January. Now I remember hearing about this film ages ago and really wanted to see it just because Viggo Mortensen was in it. Unfortunately I missed the film upon its initial release and reviews were so-so to negative, but I still wanted to check this film out. Luckily Cineworld put up a repeat viewing this week which allowed me to see the film myself. So how does the film fare? Well read on and find out!
As for the story it goes a little something like this:
“In 1962, the charismatic Chester MacFarland and his alluring younger wife Colette, arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinthian Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal, a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands, and Chester’s affable exterior hides darker secrets.“
I thought the film had an interesting if somewhat familiar story, the problem was in the execution. If you had just read the premise for the film then it would sound pretty interesting right? and this film does a few things right when it comes to the elements of jealous and deceit and the ever-growing presence of madness as things start to spiral out of control. All that being said, the film was a bit slow and wasted time on small scenes that didn’t need to be there and while the run time for a thriller is probably around this mark, if not longer I do feel like some scenes could have been cut. Towards things start to pick up and get to a point I expected a while beforehand but even after that it feels a little too late.
When it comes to the cast they are pretty good for the most part. So let’s start with Viggo Mortensen as Chester MacFarland. Even when the overall product isn’t all that you had hoped for you can still count on this man to give a good performance and did very well here. Mortensen’s character appears was very suave, cool and sure of himself, at least when things are going his way, but then when his jealously and paranoia get the better of him you can see his true colours as a bit of rude, drunk, corrupt and dangerous individual who is always looking out for number one. Oscar Isaac as Rydal, Issac was also very good, his character while he isn’t a saint, does have morals and is for the most part a good man who wishes to do right by people. But when things get messy Rydal does step up and can be a fairly calculated and aggressive individual and because of his role in this film I feel like he could take on a villain role in the future. And then there’s Kirsten Dunst as Colette MacFarland. Now Kirsten tries her hardest but she just isn’t that engaging as her two other co-stars and her character felt like she was around for the men to fight over.
One thing that I can say that I liked was the soundtrack by Alberto Iglesias. I loved the his score, it was beautiful. It had a good sense of presence, pacing and knew how to create the right mood for each situation especially the moments of action and tension.
in conclusion The Two Faces of January is isn’t bad, but isn’t great either. I really wanted to love this film but the plot feels like it moves a lot slower than it should be and after the film ended I didn’t feel a great deal of satisfaction once it was over. Mortensen and Issac are the saving graces for this film otherwise it would have been a total bore.
So have you seen The Two Faces of January and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review. Laters! 😀