Film review: Lost in Karastan (3 out 5)

Matthew MacFadyen in Lost in Karastan
Matthew MacFadyen in Lost in Karastan

There are a lot of excellent movies that don’t get the media coverage and general interest they deserve.

On the flip-side there are a quite a few poor films that get more exposure than they should.

Lost in Karastan sits firmly in the former camp.

It’s a little gem, with a good script, fine acting and some slick direction.

Director Ben Hopkins has worked mainly on small projects abroad and most of this movie is based out of the UK (hence the title).

Matthew Macfadyen plays Emil Forester, a film director who once won a major award for a short film, but who is in the doldrums.

He has no work, no money, has writer’s block and is separated from his wife, a successful film star.

Out of the blue he gets an invitation to go to (the fictional) Karastan, in the Caucasus region of Europe, as a guest of their film festival.

While there, though, the President asks him to direct a film about the country’s founder and its history.

Forester encounters various characters as he tries to do the job, including the mysterious Chulpan (MyAnna Buring) and washed-up actor Xan Butler (Noah Taylor).

Macfadyen is superb in the role, with the right mix of bewilderment at the poverty and corruption he comes across, anger at the bureaucracy and desire for Chulpan.

There are some very funny moments but there is also a strong message about the corruption of governments.

Overall, it’s a well conceived, slick movie that certainly deserves plenty of plaudits.

Film details: Lost In Karastan 94mins

Director: Ben Hopkins

Starring: Matthew Macfadyen, MyAnna Buring, Noah Taylor

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