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ENTWINED (2019) review

August 27, 2020



written by: John De Holland and Minos Nikolakakis
produced by: Lilette Botasi and Minos Nikolakakis
directed by: Minos Nikolakakis
rating: not rated
runtime: 89 min.
U.S. release date: August 28, 2020 (virtual)


The feature-length debut from Minos Nikolakakis, “Entwined”, has a tangled tale that could be either folk or fairy, with hints of something that Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft would conjure. It has a main story that’s shrouded in mystery that somehow revolves around a remote location in Greece and there’s even an underlying (albeit undeveloped) theme debating “science vs. tradition”, but despite a sincere approach this is a film that unfortunately offers very few surprises and nothing really unique in terms of storytelling.

Fresh from the death of his father, city doctor Panos (Prometheus Aleifer), relocates to a remote village in Alyti, Boeotica, leaving behind his half brother, George (John De Holland) to deal with the aftermath. With a combination of pride and altriuism, Panos decides to take his pain and offer his medical knowledge and experience to those he believes will benefit the most. However, the villagers tend to keep to themselves and it appears they haven’t had a local doctor in some time, maybe ever. It also becomes clear that the villagers who do acknowledge Panos don’t seem to be fans of his line of thinking that science can help explain everything.




As Panos focuses all his time and energy on treating those in the village, he encounters a reclusive woman named Danae (an enchanting Anastasia Rafaella Konidi) with a strange skin condition, living in the woods with an old man (Kostas Laskos), presumably her father. His first encounter with her was on his way to the village, when she bolted out of the forest and Panos almost ran her over. She disappeared into the dense landscape and his curiosity leads him back to into the woods to find Danae and unexpectedly witnesses her being abused by her animalistic father.

After he brings the father into town for medical care, he returns to Danae and finds himself unable to inexplicably unable to leave. Despite his many efforts to leave Danae and a forest that seems to change and become more dense with each attempt, Panos soon becomes drawn to Danae and under her spell, falling in love. Once he learns of the dark secrets of the forest and Danae’s ulterior motives, it’s too late to to do anything about it and his only hope is to figure a way out.

It doesn’t take long to figure out what is happening in “Entwined” and that’s to the film’s detriment. The screenplay from John De Holland and director Nikolakakis doesn’t offer much in the realm of originality and that’s unfortunate considering the artful cinematography from Thodoros Mihopoulos. This is a story that could’ve benefited from being pushed further into the fantasy or folklore genre.

If “Entwined” would’ve leaned heavier in either of those areas and somehow grounded its mythology in something palpable, it may have helped in offering something a little more different. I usually don’t ask for a movie to get weirder, but in this case I wouldn’t have minded at all if it just went for it, delivering something a little more provocative, and in turn, more interesting.






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