L begins with an ode to being a bear and ends with an ode to the sea. What happens in between constitutes one of the more original, willfully bizarre films of the year.
A man lives in his car. He’s 40 and separated from his wife and kids, who live in a different car. They meet in parking lots. A professional driver, the man delivers honey to a narcoleptic man and often dreams of his friend, who was killed when a hunter mistook him for a bear. Frequently late delivering honey, the man is fired, and his driving skills are questioned. Thrust into existential uncertainty, he abandons “car life” and joins a rogue motorbike gang.
Cowriter/director Babis Makridis and cowriter Efthimis Filippou (Dogtooth, Alps) propel us into a funky, surreal world of deadpan absurdism. Beneath the postmodern detachment lies a quite human struggle. Facing absurd existences, these characters are trying: to be better drivers, to be better bears. Even the score, a flawed rendition of Moonlight Sonata, is trying to be better. –Sundance Film Festival
Dig this apathetic and essential greek “new wave” style of filmmaking (does it even exist?). The characters alienation doesn’t simply juxtapose to a homologated system entitled to set the rules of the paragon, but it carves out a series of conventions that sanction a total dystopia with the relation language-world we are got used to.
Debut feature film co-written by one of the Dogtooth writers, this latest journey in Greek absurdist comedy, a road trip where the driver 'is' the vehicle falls a little short of the mark. There are some truly great and wry moments in here and a swag of interesting ideas but as a whole it lacks in pace and development at times feeling like the same joke told over and over. 2.5 stars