By Madeleine Wall

It is much harder to make a film like a fairy tale than one expects. When we look back at half- remembered stories from our childhood, they seem simple; we often forget the horrors and complexities that come from sparse storytelling. Minos Nikolakakis’ Entwined takes the form of such a tale, but much like his protagonist, the Greek filmmaker has taken on more than he can handle. Panos (Prometheus Aleiferopoulos) moves to a small village to be its local doctor. Fate involves him hitting Danae (Anastasia-Rafaela Konidi) with his car, and though she survives, he cannot stop thinking of her. Unable to mesh with the locals, he wanders into the woods looking for the girl he’s injured, and ends up finding her much as he’s imagined her: a maid in peril, albeit in more bizarre circumstances than he could have expected. Panos tries to free Danae from her captivity and ends up becoming a captive himself, quickly succumbing to what the mythic surroundings suggest are the natural order of things. Danae goes from chil-like victim to hapless predator, more of a life-sucking body than a person with any depth. Nikolakakis excels at his use of setting, and the sound design renders nature itself as claustrophobic and overwhelming. But in terms of plot and characterization, Entwined is rather shallow, hitting the typical points, from a man of science learning that the world is not as he thought all the way through the archetype of the self-sacrificing, elemental woman. There is a lot of space here to do something different than the norm, but instead the film wanders through the lush woods, never able to truly progress from its starting point.