I liked the above review and want to add to it. I Just saw the film last night at the annual Greek Film Festival in New York City. I was wondering if the screenplay was based on a story written by someone else or if the director who wrote the screenplay was also the writer of the original story. Pygmalion Dadakaridis as Professor Dimitris Lainas gives a fine consistent performance as a detective on the side, in the manner of Father Brown, Grantchester (also a minister) or Dr. Blake (a medical doctor), he has the quirkiness of Poirot and Sherlock Holmes in his recoiling from physical human contact: in fact, I could see Professor Lainas as the vehicle for a weekly television series. I agree with the previous review that his own story and transformation is the more interesting part of the film but it is often the case with the detective genre.
The who-done-it is not difficult to figure out at the beginning of the film. The opening shot of the Pythagorian medallions give us the clue, as does the second flashback scene of the night that one of the victims (who we first saw as a child accepting the medallion from her grandfather with the dictum that it should be given to the person she loves most)is briefly seen in the bathroom mirror with her best friend on her birthday at a club, before the fatal accident, where she is killed and her fiancé maimed in a hit and run accident. If you are observant, you can see the two women wearing the matching pendants. Still the second flashback comes late in the film and you are kept guessing who this intellectual murderer leaving Pythagorian maxims for clues might be.
It takes too long to link the initial flashback of the earlier birthday party to the second flashback of the final birthday. We have to experience several graphically-depicted murders before we get the second flashback scene.
I guess this type of suspense (slowly-meted out information) has been around since Oedipus, but Sophocles has a perfect sense of pacing in the way he times his disclosures. The plot, however, is Sophoclean in its own right as the central character questions the limits of the law as a dispenser of justice. The Pythagorian quotes are among the best thing in the film. They are marvelous in their own right as meditations on justice and very creative. The key clue of Pythagoras' filial numbers as symbolic of friendship itself is ingenious. I agree that the actual detective on the case does nothing, but that is also a convention of detective dramas, think of Holmes and Lastrade.
Also. we are never told what happened to Professor Lainas' father, who is on life support throughout the film and who he finally allows to be taken off life support at the end of the film. It is hinted that there is a parallel to the other senseless hit and run accident, where justice was actually foiled by the law. There are Sherlock Holmes stories, where Holmes allows victim perpetrators to get away, as does Lainas in this case.
The story could have been improved by providing a bit more history of the murderer's relationship to her friend prior to the accident and certainly more concerning Lainas' attachment to his father, just enough to enable us to understand what drives the characters.
I thought the film got better as it went along and the questions raised by the Pythagorian maxims written by the criminal at the scene of the crimes became key questions for Detective Lainas concerning the problem of justice and the problem of a just universe. So on the whole, I thought it was a creative new addition to the detective genre, of which I am a fan.
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