Future voices: Film review - The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces Of January is a rare film to be made nowadays, as it more closely resembles a Hitchcockian thriller than it does the crime films of today - focusing more on the relationships between characters and a rising sense of dread than on action, which heightens the impact when dramatic events do occur, due to the element of surprise.

The plot centres around an American couple (played by Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen) in the 1960s, who are spending time in Greece to escape being charged with fraud.

However, events go spectacularly awry due to a fight with a private investigator, and they must flee the country with the help of a tour guide (Oscar Isaac).

The tension within the group could be cut with a knife, and is built up perfectly thanks to strong direction and subtle, poignant performances by all three members of the main cast.

The stress the characters feel and their increasingly uneasy dynamics are conveyed perfectly, keeping the viewers enthralled with the knowledge that eventually, somebody is going to snap under the pressure. And when they finally do, it is shockingly blunt and powerful.


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The technical aspects of the film are also masterful. The filmmakers know exactly when to use static or frantic camerawork to emphasise the characters' emotions or actions, and the colour scheme is stylish and aesthetically pleasing, relying mostly on champagne yellows, cool blues and stone greys.

My favourite thing about the film, though, was its superb use of transitions, which were creative and ran very smoothly, showing that the editors of the film were clearly passionate about showcasing their talent.

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All in all, I highly recommend The Two Faces of January to anyone who enjoys slow-paced, but tense thrillers, reminiscent of the film noir style.

Do you know a film that we shouldn't miss? Tweet @edp24 using #FutureVoices

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