‘Broadway’ Evaluate: Life on the Margins
The true performer is aware of that their craft calls for seduction, for the lure of the stage is the fun of escape. “Broadway,” the kinetic debut characteristic from Christos Massalas, captures the grim duality, in all its freedom and peril, of life on the margins. Set in Athens and visibly haunted by the specter of Greece’s financial disaster, the movie follows a charismatic ensemble of misfits who make their residing — not less than nominally — as road performers. More exactly, they depend on the distraction of their rapt viewers in order that they might decide their pockets clear.
In ponderous voice-over, liable to the occasional cliché, Nelly (Elsa Lekakou) recounts her foray into their world: she is found in a strip membership by the mercurial Markos (Stathis Apostolou), a seasoned thief, who whisks her off to the Broadway, an deserted theater advanced replete with an open-air rooftop cinema. She instantly assimilates into this clan, all of them both outsiders or defectors: the charming couple Rudolph (Rafael Papad) and Mohammad (Salim Talbi); Locksmith (Christos Politis), a shadowy outdated man and purposeful patriarch; and lastly, the mysterious Jonas (Foivos Papadopoulos), hidden away with a bruised and bandaged face.
Feverishly pursued by a formidable gangster recognized solely because the Maraboo, Jonas transforms into Barbara, a veritable bombshell with billowing bronze locks, pirouetting alongside Nelly in glittering jumpsuits for a spellbound crowd. When Markos is distributed to jail, Barbara and Nelly set up a candy romance, imperiled by the cloud of Markos’s inevitable return.
Amid some uneven characterizations, the forged enlivens “Broadway” with their compelling performances, sealed by a stirring finale and a characteristically hovering rating from Gabriel Yared.
Not rated. In Greek, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes. In theaters.