Support Group Olympus (2021) poster

Support Group Olympus (2021)

Rating:


Sweden. 2021

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Jimmy Francis, Producers – Jimmy Francis & Carl Kristoffersson, Photography – Kalle Svenson, Music – Mikael Fall, Visual Effects Supervisor – Martin Malmquist, Production Design – Annika Johanson. Production Company – Wildwind Pictures/Ljud & Bild Media AB/Metronome Rental.

Cast

Georgandreas Kalaritis (Ares), Lina Sunden (Kara Miller), Sandro Khafor (Hermes), Kostis Rampavilas (Dionysus), Maria Karpathakis (Aphrodite), Natalie Katsarov (Athena), Jean-Claude Boeke (Dennis), Malin Vargo (Eloise), John La Briola (Atlas), Stephane Bertola (Poseidon), Drifa Hanen (Hermes’ Date), Alan Adler (Hermes’ Boss)


Plot

The gods of Ancient Greece live in the present-day but have lost their powers because they are no longer worshipped. They are then told that the welfare they subsist on is in danger of being cut unless they attend a support group. The mortal Kara Miller is chosen to lead the support group. Various of the gods, Ares, Hermes, Athena and Aphrodite, turn up but Kara finds that they all have difficulty leaving their old ways behind and accepting dealing with the mortals they see as beneath them. At the same time, Kara discovers that all the other Greek gods have killed themselves.


Greek Mythology has been sporadically depicted on screen, ranging from the numerous adventures of Hercules to fantasy adventure epics like Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Clash of the Titans (1981) and Immortals (2011). The horror and fantasy film have regularly raided elements from Greek mythology and taken creatures such as the gorgon, Cerberus, centaurs and sirens. There is another whole body of films that deal with characters from Greek myth surviving into the present-day as with Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus (1950), Black Orpheus (1959) and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010). The film that Support Group Olympus most resembles is Malpertuis (1972) about a group of Greek gods still alive in a large old mansion. That and something of the Neil Gaiman adapted tv series American Gods (2017-21) with assorted deities trying to adjust to living in the modern world where they have been forgotten.

Support Group Olympus was the debut feature from Swedish director Jimmy Francis. Prior to this, Francis had worked in music video and commercials, while having made assorted short films, including the basis of this as the earlier thirteen minute short film Support Group Olympus (2010). The film was made in Sweden, where it would appear that all the Greek gods have been cast with actual Greek actors. The dialogue is in English, although comes from some people who not always native speakers leaving you straining to decipher the accents at times.

Lina Sunden, Athena (Natalie Katsarou), Hermes (Sandro Khafor), Ares (Georgandreas Kalaritis) and Aphrodite (Maria Karpathakis) in Support Group Olympus (2021)
(l to r) Therapist Lina Sunden and the Greek gods Athena (Natalie Katsarou), Hermes (Sandro Khafor), Ares (Georgandreas Kalaritis) and Aphrodite (Maria Karpathakis) attend support group

Support Group Olympus is a film with a great premise – the idea of former Greek gods forced to go into a support group to sort themselves out lest they lose their welfare support (the exact nature of the agency that supports them is unspecified). On the other hand, you can question the approach that Jimmy Francis takes, which is more as a low-key indie film. One would have thought the premise would have been best suited for a comedy. It ends up being slow and you wait for the film to start going somewhere with its set-up.

However, there is a dry amusement to the film that grows on you – Georgandreas Kalaritis’s Ares has a particularly amusing method of dealing with a spam caller in the opening moments. Or the scenes where Hermes (Sandro Khafor) goes on a date. These vie with a mix of the tragic – Kostis Rampavilas’s Dionysus and his failed attempts to take the modern stage by storm. Eventually around the latter third of the show the script manages to pull its story together quite nicely to arrive at a satisfying ending.


Trailer here


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