The Two Faces Of January Story
The Two Faces of January is a 2014 American thriller film written and directed by screenwriter Hossein Amini in his directorial debut. Based on Patricia Highsmith's 1964 novel of the same name, the film stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac. Filming took place on location in Greece and Turkey and at a studio in London. The film premiered in February 2014 in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1962, con man Chester MacFarland and his wife Colette tour Greece and visit the Acropolis of Athens. There they meet Rydal, who scams tourists while working as a tour guide. The MacFarlands invite Rydal to dinner, and Rydal, intrigued by the couple's wealth and Colette's beauty, accepts their invitation.
Colette likes Rydal, but Chester doesn't trust him. After dinner, they part, but Rydal goes back to their hotel to return a bracelet Colette left in their shared taxi. Meanwhile a private detective hired by victims of Chester's investment swindles has gone to the MacFarlands' hotel room and demanded that Chester repay their money. The detective pulls a gun, and Chester kills him in a brief struggle. While he is trying to stow the body in the detective's hotel room, Rydal finds him in the corridor. Chester asks Rydal for his help.
Rydal takes the MacFarlands to see a friend who can furnish false passports to replace those they left at their hotel's front desk. He suggests waiting for the counterfeit documents on Crete. There they cannot check into a hotel in Iraklion without identification papers. They spend the evening at a restaurant where Chester gets drunk watching Rydal and Colette dance and grow close. They all sleep the night on the quayside.
They travel by bus to Chania, where Colette visits Rydal's room while her husband sleeps. Whether Colette and Rydal have sex is unclear. On the way back to Iraklion, Colette believes someone has recognized her from newspaper pictures of the Americans who fled the hotel in Athens. She runs off the bus at a stop. Chester and Rydal follow and together they tromp to the ruins of Knossos.
When it begins to rain and they seek shelter, Chester lures Rydal into an underground labyrinth and knocks him out. Colette asks what happened to Rydal. As he tries to pull her up the stairs, Colette loses her balance and falls to her death. When Rydal comes to in the morning, he is seen leaving by a group of students and their guide. Chester has rushed to Iraklion to pick up the passports, paying Rydal's friend $2,500. Rydal arrives in Knossos and tracks Chester down.
The two realize they are bound together by the various roles in the detective's death, acquiring false passports, and Colette's death. If either is arrested he will implicate the other.
They go to Iraklion airport, where Chester pretends to buy them both tickets to Frankfurt. He says he is going for a drink and boards a plane to Istanbul, leaving Rydal with a suitcase containing documents that will tie him to Colette. Rydal realizes that Chester has probably reported him to the police anonymously and he flees the airport and appears to have escaped the police.
Rydal, knowing the false name on Chester's new passport, locates him in Istanbul. He calls Chester and demands a meeting in the Grand Bazaar where he expects to be paid a large bribe for his silence. In fact, Rydal has been taken into police custody. The authorities have made him wear a wire and expect him to extract a confession from Chester. At their rendezvous Rydal's insistent questioning makes Chester suspicious.
Sensing a trap, he flees and a chase through the dark ensues, with both Chester and Rydal fleeing the police. A policeman shoots Chester who, as he lies dying, speaks into the wire Rydal is wearing, admitting responsibility for the two deaths and exonerating Rydal. Rydal is released, and attends Chester's funeral.
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