Mythopathy (Notias) is a film about a boy. Except he’s not just any old kid. This child is one that experiences heartbreak in a novel way. When it happens, he looks towards ancient Greek mythology and stories and he changes aspects of these to suit his own narrative. This coming-of-age story is emotional and imaginative at times but it’s also a little forgettable and difficult to understand at others.
This film is written and directed by Tassos Boulmetis (A Touch of Spice.) It’s one that is semi-autobiographical and is brimming with different images and Greek symbolism. These things should prove to be a treat for Greek audiences but some of this may be lost in translation for foreign viewers.
Stavros (Yiannis Niarros) is a boy who is living his life predominantly in his head. He enjoys myths and stories but he also likes turning them upside down and inside out, even if this is considered disrespectful by the adults. He is living in a tumultuous time of change in Greece where a dictatorship rules and censorship is abundant. This claustrophobic environment proves a great catalyst for a child seeking some escapism. But Stavros’ conservative parents want him to follow the straight and narrow and assume he will follow in his father’s footsteps into the retail trade.
As Stavros gets older and experiences love at university, he debates things with his fellow students and he develops an interest in photography. The plot here blends together elements of fantasy with drama and comedy as well as a pretty soundtrack. Eventually Stavros comes to realise his true passion and calling in life. A young romantic, his dreams, hopes and aspirations are at odds with his parents, and this provides an interesting-enough backdrop for where the worlds of history, devotion to family and creativity collide.
Mythopathy is an artistic film about the desire to embrace your imagination and tell your story in your own unique way. It’s about a boy’s restless spirit and how he grows from a starry-eyed child to a whimsical man taking his lead from the myths and stories that he has manipulated and changed. Some of these obscure touchpoints should provide a nice treat for Greek audiences, but other viewers may not be able to back this particular Trojan horse to the finish.
Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Mythopathy (Notias) is screening as part of The Delphi Bank 24th Greek Film Festival through October, with programs across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane. Head to greekfilmfestival.com.au to find out more.