Film Review: Fatal Perfection
Fatal Perfection is an independent short film, written and directed by Konstantinos Pateronis. Set in the 1770's American Revolution, this periodic drama tells the story of a young bachelor, Narcissus (Michael Nelson), who pays attention only to his beauty, without knowing that it can be fatal. Let's start with the film's message - which we loved! When you only care about yourself and the way you look, and not about the people you love and the world around you, the universe pays back. This makes Fatal Perfection super relevant, in a culture that praises individuals by their image, rather than their actions. While Narcissus in the film, just like the Greek myth, is very extreme in his behavior- he's not too different from some of us nowadays. Narcissus' father describes it perfectly: "If you fly too close to the sun, your wings will burn off one day."
The opening scene presents a dinner at Jackson's house, where Narcissus' family tries to match him to Captain Jackson's daughter. Surprisingly, Narcissus seems disinterested, and only pays attention to himself and... his twin sister, Aphrodite (Madison Spear). As the story progresses, we learn that he is deeply in love with her. While wearing a wig, Narcissus doesn't wear any masks - he doesn't try to obey rules and norms, and is always straight forward: "I am what you envy"; "You can never stand up next to a perfect man, Ms. Jackson".
The fact that the characters are so extravagant, allows the director to create multiple clashes between them. As the viewer, you find yourself enjoying the conflicts and the plot twists, rather than connecting to the arrogant, selfish protagonist. Narcissus doesn't even try to be lovable. He simply doesn't care about people's feelings, so it's hard to understand what Narcissus' sister, Aphrodite, likes about him. She is the only one who tries to contain his behavior and protect him, even when their father Cephissus (Steve Filice) loses his temper. We loved the performances, the grandfather's bell's motive and especially the chemistry between the actors. The ongoing conflict between Narcissus and Cephissus is great. Director Konstantinos Pateronis creates an interesting world, all around a dinner table. His characters are colorful and extreme, probably different than anything you've seen lately. The result is a tense dinner that quickly gets out of control.
And just like in the Greek myth, the story must end with a tragedy. We can't tell you how it ends, of course, but we can just say that justice hasn't been made, and that Narcissus hasn't really changed his behavior. Fatal Perfection won an Honorable Mention: Short Screenplay at LAFA in September 2018, and was nominated for Best Indie Short and Best Director in October 2019.
About the director: Konstantinos Pateronis grew up in Elefsina, Greece. Since the young age of eight years old, he has been fascinated by cinema and the different worlds and stories one can create through movies. His main influences are Theo Angelopoulos, Lars Von Trier, Oliver Stone and Francis Ford Coppola. He has attended the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, where he earned his BFA in Filmmaking in 2017. Konstantinos has directed many short films both in Greek and English. He is best known for his award-winning films "All or Nothing" (2017) and "Fatal Perfection" (2019). He is also a member of the Greek Directors Guild and the "OldSin Collective", which consists of artists from various backgrounds in the fields of cinema, music, photography, fashion, painting and poetry.