Greek ex-diving champion Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis) lives with his sick grandmother in a seaside town in Greece. Working in a furniture factory to make a living, Victor is left devastated when she dies and her death prompts him to make a road trip to Germany to visit his estranged mother. On a ferry to Italy, Victor meets enthusiastic German student Matthias (Anton Weil), and he reluctantly agrees to let him come along for the journey. As the two men clash, with their personalities proving to polar opposites, they unexpectedly find common ground and quickly grow closer.
‘The Man With The Answers’ is a charming film from writer and director Stelios Kammitsis. Taking the well-trodden opposites attract approach, Kammitsis pairs up two lead characters who inevitably are going to rub each other up the wrong way. Victor is uptight and holding inside a lot of feelings towards his life and family, while Matthias is far more free-spirited, unable to keep his thoughts inside and frequently vocal. Matthias charms his way into Victor’s life and it’s not long before the two men are butting heads, with Matthias quickly annoying Victor with his constant questions.
The relationship that forms between Victor and Matthias is at the centre of the film, and that’s what will keep you hooked. Both men have their charms, and quirks, and the connection between them is electric. Both Vasilis Magouliotis and Anton Weil are superb in their roles, and even when their characters are bickering (which they do often), there’s a palpable sexual chemistry that builds between them. You invest in the characters deeply, especially as Victor comes to rely on Matthias far more than he would like to admit as his journey to see his mother begins to take its toll.
What I really liked about this film is that it manages to avoid every cliché you think it’s going to fall into from the beginning. Yes, it’s obvious that Victor and Matthias’ relationship will change from feuding strangers to something more intimate, but their journey to their point is refreshing and compelling. The film doesn’t dwell on the sexualities of the men, instead opting to show the natural progression of their relationship without having to address any internalised struggles that would usually come with it. You don’t see that often in gay cinema and I’m hoping this is a sign that sexual identity doesn’t have always be the focus of the genre.
‘The Man With The Answers’ is a really strong film from Stelios Kammitsis, and it’s packed with the kind of charm that made ‘Call Me By Your Name’ a runaway hit. With plenty of heart, a smattering of humour and plenty of human drama, ‘The Man With The Answers’ is a beautiful film that hits you in the heart and will make you think about what’s important in life. Victor and Matthias are wonderfully well-rounded characters that you can relate to, and the film leaves things wide open for a continuation should Kammitsis want to do that in the future (and I hope he does).
Cast: Vasilis Magouliotis, Anton Weil Director: Stelios Kammitsis Writer: Stelios Kammitsis Certificate: TBC Duration: 81 mins Released by: Peccadillo Pictures Release date: 28th June 2021 Buy ‘The Man With The Answers’ now