The Enemy Within
Thursday 19 November 2015 8:30PM
The Royal – 608 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1A1
Director: Yorgos Tsemberopoulos
Cast: Manolis Mavromatakis, Maria Zorba, Yiorgos Gallos, Antonis Karistinos
If you base films on trailers then THE ENEMY WITHIN, the psychological thriller from Veteran Greek filmmaker Yorgos Tsemberopoulos should just be another Death Wish vigilante film from forty years ago (DEATH WISH-CHARLES BRONSON). But Tsemberopoulos is way too informed and talented to just create a film that is a straight forward tale of rage and revenge.
ENEMY WITHIN straddles a classic dramatic theme of vengeance set in modern-day Athens with the bigger themes of immigration and unbridled crime that slips through the cracks nightly.
Director Tsemberopoulos has some great pacing and treads heavy and lightly while his Cinematographer Vangelis Katritzidakis masterfully parlays the suffocating and paralyzing POV of the film’s characters as they are being victimized with each second. These are bad things to watch and this film is not for anyone under 14 if I was rating it.
As the film unfolds the Patriarch Kostas Stasinos (played with incredible intensity by lead actor MANOLIS MAVROMATAKIS) is burdened with old ideals and principles but now challenged in a new reality where desperate and violent men have done their damage. Conversations in the local bar between middle-class couples and their bartenders ring with an air of luxury and truth and then a dissolution of that truth erupts for Greek idealists everywhere.
The film is an honest and grim exploration of choices when crime ruptures a regular family in Athens. It is also a cautionary tale that crime and punishment should be left in the hands of professionals whether on the right side of the law or the wrong.
The Enemy Within unfolds with sublime storytelling of what happens when the gravity and realism of everyday crime bludgeons what used to be a pretty good life in the big city of Athens. The performances of the actors in this well-crafted film deserve kudos and you will be contemplating their performances long after the screen goes black.