APPLES MOVIE REVIEW
Cohen Media Group
Reviewed for Shockya.com and BigAppleReviews.net, linked to Rotten Tomatoes by Harvey Karten
Director: Christos Nikou
Screenplay: Christos Nikou, Stavros Raptis
With: Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovasili, Anna Kalaitzidou, Argiris Bakirtzis
Screening at: Critics’ link, NYC,
Opening: June 24, 2022
Imagine your memories suddenly disappearing and you being able to create a new life, eager to have new experiences, to see new things in a new way. However, since we don’t know how many times we have messed up our lives, we are unable to correct what is missing by experiencing the new life. This phenomenon actually occurs in several people in Athens around 1980 when Aris (Aris Servatalis), sitting on a bus, is caught in a pandemic that erases people’s memories. Not everyone, because if that happened, we wouldn’t have a team of neurologists maybe spending pandemic-driven stipends doing research. When Aris shows up at the hospital, he is not given any answers because there are none. The two doctors simply say they don’t know how long it will take for him to recover. But they give him a tape recorder and a Polaroid camera and ask him to perform a number of exercises that might help refresh his memory.
Remember that a failure to remember hurtful experiences does not create the Shangri-la we think it would create, because without them we lose sight of our lives, our identities. This is how Aris follows the advice of his doctors and performs a number of rituals, ordered to capture these experiences on camera for a scrapbook, which he dutifully does. He is told to ride a bike, go to the movies, try to meet a woman, go to a dance, go to a strip club and pay for a lap dance, swim, d to go to the hospital and, in the latter case, to act in an unusual way. kindness to a man who has only a few days to live.
The film is largely about two: Aris and Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), the latter a woman he meets who is also amnesiac, more willing to open up to new experiences, attend a slasher movie, take the initiative with Aris who she meets at the theater, even asking him to attend a funeral with her because funerals – like cleaning the house – are boring to her.
Among the targets of director Christos Nikou’s allegorical study is our modern communication technology, which he says makes the brain lazy. Our memories can be quickly uploaded, perhaps a few sketches on Tik Tok, robbing us of the richness that more effort would bring to help us understand where we stand. Nikou, in his freshman feature, may well challenge an audience with limited patience, given the titular character’s tongue-in-cheek nature. He’s a lost man trying to figure out what his life is, unsmiling even while munching on apples, his favorite food, especially a special type of apple by a friendly greengrocer and as he slowly consumes some another in the final scene.
Adding to the tongue-in-cheek “Waiting for Godot” style, cinematographer Bartosz Swiniarski limits the palette to a 4:3 square ratio which, along with Aris’ perplexing journey into lost memories, should find cinephiles high-end, their thinking stimulated, while the public for something more commercial might head to the outlets.
90 minutes. © 2022 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
History – C+
Acting – B