Following up from the recent review of Hades, the sequel Tlmea; two undercover cops are caught in a dream during a drug raid, descending to the 9th level of hell, Ptolomea. Starring: Cris Kotzen, H.K. DeWitt, Anna Heidegger, Ufuk Bayraktar, Jonas Hofrichter, Philip Grüneisen, Vanessa Drosdatis and Iman Rezai.
This time around things feel slightly more like a warped reality rather than entirely a dream like state, giving the actors more to do and exploring a larger environment which the film does take advantage of. It also means a more solid focus on the lead characters, now including Kotzen’s Sweitzer and DeWitt’s Nordmann; two very different personalities, whereas the former is slightly mysterious and intriguing, the latter is more arrogant almost to the point of irritation, although it doesn’t feel intentional in all but a few moments. Heidegger’s return as the elusive M. has a definite decreased involvement but those aspects of connection between the two films are highlights of Tlmea, it does however restrict what’s required of her which is slightly disappointing after the great first impression she made in Hades.
The additions to story, revolving around the drug raid, removes the film from the artistic quality of the first film to something much bigger in scale which is minimising the style that was presented previously. The increase in characters also causes the problem of fracturing the focus, it’s unclear where your attention should truly lay while watching, the connection from one scene to the next is not as fluid. There’s also been a side-step to something more dramatic, which is interesting and it perhaps would have been even more suited to taking that even further, giving more context and background to the raid that the characters find themselves trapped in could have created a thriller element to get closer to the intrigue that had already been evoked. The film does return more to the tone of the original in its latter stages which is more enjoyable and smoother.
The contrast of using a harsher tone to the quiet lure of Hades is slightly difficult to process as a viewer, making the intentions of the film more unclear. Tlmea feels less succinct but does provide an interesting and slightly mind-bending story from an unusual perspective.