The Man Who Looks Like Me: Same faces, different people
by Laurence Boyce
- KARLOVY VARY 2017: Estonian filmmakers Katrin and Andres Maimik return to the Czech festival with another tale of generational conflict
In The Man Who Looks Like Me [+see also:
interview: Andres and Katrin Maimik
film profile], directorial duo Katrin and Andres Maimik once again explore the differences between two generations, after also doing so in their debut feature, Cherry Tobacco [+see also:
film profile]. This time, instead of a love story between a young woman and an older man, they focus on the differences between a father and son. The film has just world-premiered in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West competition.
Hugo (Rain Tolk) is a music critic who discovers that his wife has been cheating on him. After moving to the countryside to rebuild his life and work on his latest book, his life is disrupted when his estranged father, Raivo (Roman Baskin), arrives on the scene. As Raivo reveals he is going to die, Hugo decides to tolerate his presence. But when Hugo meets therapist Marian (Evelin Võigemast), the father and son find that the direction that their lives have taken means that they are more divided than they once thought.
While the topic of the film is a well-worn trope, the Maimiks create a fresh angle on proceedings, as the film works as both an exploration of familial conflict and a satire of academic posturing. It is no coincidence that Raivo is a musician while Hugo is a critic – one ‘does’, whilst the other can only write about doing.
While it is frequently funny – thanks mainly to Tolk and Baskin’s chemistry – the film is unafraid to explore darker territory, examining abandonment and jealousy. The movie also makes good use of its bucolic setting, with Mihkel Soe’s cinematography veering between verdant greenery and rain-sodden skies, mirroring the emotional changes that the characters find themselves undergoing.
After the premiere of Cherry Tobacco in 2014, The Man Who Looks Like Me will mark the second time that Andres and Katrin Maimik have had a world premiere in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West competition. The film’s subtle blend of comedy and drama should find some appreciative audiences on the festival circuit over the months to come. The film is produced by Estonian outfits Kuukulgur Film and Kinosaurus Film.
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