A man living an unfulfilling life in London, with a corporate job he hates and a fiancee to whom he’s indifferent, finds new meaning behind a closed door on a Greek island in the creepy “D’Agostino.”
Director Jorge Ameer (who has a small role in the film, and appears Thursday at a screening at the Roxie) builds a bit of tension in the odd, quiet thriller, which at times seems like a travelogue featuring gorgeous images of Santorini.
Yet the film also aspires to be a character study of protagonist Allan (Keith Roenke), who goes to Greece when he learns he has inherited property from his grandmother.
In the flat, on the other side of a door, he hears noises and discovers a resistant young man (Michael Angels) — nude, crouched animal-like on all fours, and grunting rather than speaking.
Handily, he comes with a tag bearing his name, D’Agostino, and origin: Fashioned to be used for organ transplants, he’s a human clone who became lost cargo and washed ashore in Greece.
The film never explains how he got in the little room.
Keeping D’Agostino hidden, creepily chaining him up and treating him like a pet (but also getting naked with him), Allan begins to find life newly exciting.
Yet he’s not without challenges: D’Agostino escapes and the property manager (Ameer) checks up on him.
Like Allan — a self-described man of few words — the film is low on dialogue, yet filled with contrasting images.
Least successful are the scenes featuring Allan and D’Agostino’s interactions. Many are dark and hard to read, while the more brightly lit ones aren’t homoerotic as the director seems to intend.
While not quite the “macabre tale of self-discovery” it is billed as, “D’Agostino” does maintain some interest and bring up thought-provoking themes about connections between humans’ self-realizations and their behavior toward others.
Lovely Grecian landscapes, photographed by Zach Voytas, give the quirky flick some beauty.