A burgeoning connection with a stranger may deeply affect the life of an ex-diving champion in writer/director Stelios Kammitsis’s charming but slight The Man with the Answers.
Dreams of Flyingby Chris Drew
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
As we meet 20-something protagonist Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis, Happy Birthday) his life in Greece consists of reckless cycling, working cash in hand in a workshop and taking flowers to his grandmother in hospital.
The remaining embers of his passion for diving are still evident in his trampoline acrobatics, walking handstands and mirror posing in his apartment.
When his grandmother dies Victor dusts off his mother’s Audi, and armed with a guide to Bavaria and German-language cassette he hesitantly sets off towards Germany.
It’s on the ferry to Italy that Victor locks eyes with the handsome Mathias (Anton Weil, The New End) and the pair later talk on deck, with the quiet and introverted Victor wary of the outgoing and confident German.
The following morning Mathias persuades Victor to be his guide through Italy to Bavaria and thus kicks off a road trip with the two men gradually getting to know each other. Mathias is determined to get Victor to loosen up, suggesting 20 questions, teasing Victor about his restaurant orders and a detour for some lake swimming.
Somewhat inevitably a growing connection develops between the pair, aided by some warm and witty dialogue and the winning chemistry of the two leads, despite both being underwritten.
Mathias is given no backstory or real character detail. When he surprises Victor by taking him to a wedding reception no information is given as to how he knows the couple.
Little is revealed of Victor’s complex relationship with his mother until some compelling third-act scenes with an excellent Stella Fyrogeni (The Two Faces of January).
Kammitsis’ likeable film is engaging and enjoyable but could have benefited from fleshed out character development within a longer run time.
The Man with the Answers is released on Peccadillo POD and DVD on 28 June 2021 in the UK and on general on-demand platforms on 5 July 2021.