Screen Daily – Mark Adams

Set against the volatile backdrop of the collapse of the Greek economy, Syllas Tzoumerkas’ freewheeling and full-on drama is a shrill expression of anger, driven forcefully and with a certain fearlessness by a striking lead performance by Angeliki Papoulia as a free-spirited woman who reaches the end of her tether. A Blast never resorts to subtext or allegory as other recent Greek films which referred to the country’s economic situation have done, instead it tackles things full on with barely repressed anger and a ‘take no-prisoners’ attitude. Its smart structure, vibrant performances and lusty sexuality should make it of interest to distributors, while festivals (it had its world premiere at Locarno) will likely also be keen. (…) A striking performance by Angeliki Papoulia is the jittery, beating heart of A Blast, with her Maria a passionate an open soul who embraces life and love, but finds that passion beaten out of her by a variety of circumstances. Syllas Tzoumerkas (who made his feature debut with Homeland which premiered at the 2010 Venice Critics’ Week) keeps the film tense and edgy as it spirals towards a moody almost existential ending as she speeds alone in her SUV into the Greek countryside, evading police, and simply looking to escape. Read more →

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