Blackmail Boy



Not many films from Greece are ever shown in America, so it's a bit unfortunate that Blackmail Boy is the movie that introduces most people to Greek cinema. Blackmail Boy is a dark, convoluted look at the machinations within a Greek family as it relates to young Christos (Yannis Tsimitselis). Christos is having affairs with people left and right. He has a girlfriend his age. He's leading around single mother Tzia (Joy Evidi, Silicon Tears) and with government official Yiorgos (Akilas Karazisis, I'm Tired of Killing Your Lovers, One Day in August).

Writers/directors Thanasis Papathanasiou and Michalis Reppas (Silicon Tears, Safe Sex) spend so much time adding corruption and darkness into their film that they forgot to make it coherent. A lot of this comes with the Christos character. Why is he such a catch? Okay, he looks cute and has a nice body, but beyond that, it's difficult to tell. There certainly isn't much going on upstairs, yet Tzia dotes on him like a teenage girl. It's also never clear why Yiorgos is so hung up on Christos. He adores him enough to give him a brand new motorcycle, but it seems that Christos could easily be replaced with any other pretty young boy.

What is clear is that Christos' mother Magda (Nena Menti, Hazardous and Unhealthy, The Cistern) has no idea what her son is doing with whom. She is concerned about a piece of land that the government wants to redevelop. Her son-in-law Stelios Alexis Georgoulis (I'm Tired of Killing Your Lovers, I, Phouska) is greedy and wants to milk the government for as much money as possible. So it's lucky that Stelios (who's sleeping with Magda, yes, his mother-in-law) discovers that Christos is sleeping with Yiorgos, who happens to have the power to help him out.

The plot is ambitiously complex, but Papathanasiou and Reppas do not do a good job of presenting it in a clear fashion. It is difficult to figure out what is happening, or even why things are happening. The pacing is too slow to be effective, and the acting is all over the place. Unfortunately, this causes Blackmail Boy to come across as boring. Oh, and Christos' father died in a car accident years ago. Yeah, whatever.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Greek with English subtitles, Not Rated but contain language, nudity, and sexuality, an easy R.

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