Highway to Hellas full movie review - Heart-warming, life-affirming film
The Greeks. The Germans. Age-old hatred and mistrust. The financial crisis. Ecology. Romance. Tragedy. Friendship.
Galapagos in Greece, a.k.a. Palladiki is an out of the big ferry routes island in Greece that has been hit hard by the financial crisis yet its residents have not given up. They have a dream of promoting their island as a vacation spot for ecotourism and have borrowed money from a German bank using a non-existent power station as a collateral. Enter the German bank representative who has come to inspect the island. He is a typical bureaucrat in contrast with the laid-back Greeks (who miraculously speak perfect German because some of them were born and raised in Germany.) The Greeks will try everything in their power to keep the wool over his eyes in order not to lose the loan. He will do everything in his power to uncover the truth.
The story is simple, yet well-told. The actors portray their characters with great skill. Photography is superb. Music starts off good, but excels towards the end. There are no annoying stereotypes. You are able to connect with the characters at human level, taking part in their adventures instead of being a bystander as happens with some modern films. There is real pathos in this film! And delicate reminders of the current situation that Greece is facing.
I loved this film and gave it 9/10 stars. The only reason I took one star off is because I felt it needed a few more walk-ons. Palladiki is eerily devoid of human presence save for the main cast. It is the only thing that was missing. Everything else was there and everyone involved in the making of this film should feel very proud of a job well done! (I had no idea that German film-making was this good - apart from what I consider to be the best version of the Titanic disaster - and will now be open on watching more European films.)