April 11, 2014

The Conductor (2012)

The Conductor (2012) - Movie Review
Directed by: Pavel Lungin
Country: Russia

Movie Review: Delivering less than it promised, “The Conductor”, presents a mix of stories inside a group of performers from a famous Russian orchestra that travels to Jerusalem to perform the religious oratorio ‘St. Matthew Passion’. The drama is centered on the feared conductor Slava Petrov (Vladas Bagdonas) who receives a fax informing about his son’s death in Jerusalem, a few days before his departure. Once there, he’ll learn that his artist son became member of a secluded group, having collected several debts that led him to hang himself. He just left a painting, a replica of the famous ‘The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb’, in which Christ is replaced by his father. In parallel, we can follow the insecurities of a lonely singer who believes he’s not wanted in the orchestra, and the end of a marriage of another singer, Sergey, who feels tied up in the relationship with his jealous and religious-obsessed wife, feeling attracted to Olga whom he met in the plane. Meanwhile, Olga will lost track of her two kids in the perilous market streets of Jerusalem. Despite its fine performances and appealing images, “The Conductor” revealed some trouble embracing the stories and giving them a final strong conclusion. The religious chants created a special mood (the most valuable aspect in the film) that not always corresponded to what the pic was showing us. Made of fatal coincidences and ‘deaf’ dialogues, it adopts serious tones in its attempt to balance all the guilt, pride, faith, and repentance of its characters, a goal that wasn’t totally achieved.

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