My Take – This film is an old school twisted tale of murder, treachery and double-dealing, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, with marks of an Alfred Hitchcock work all over it! Although the compelling story, somewhat predictable in places takes in some fabulously atmospheric locations in Athens, Crete and Istanbul.
Director Hossein Amini, has done a good job in using the leads to their maximum, the thrill, orchestrating the locations, lighting and music to great effect. Some of the editing is also very tight, cutting away from scenes at crucial points to maintain the story’s mystery. The only problem here lies, the story doesn’t never capitalize on what it sets up, and never comes to terms with the fact that there is no sense of urgency or jeopardy, which may not appeal to everyone once the end credits have rolled.
Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst are very likeable, but it is Oscar Isaac that again really shines in his role. Overall The Two Faces of January is taut, suspenseful, well-acted, well- written, but may appeal only to people rooting for unconventional thrillers!