December 28, 2014

Leviathan (2014)

Leviathan (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Country: Russia

Movie Review: Russian cult director, Andrei Zvyagintsev, doesn’t stop to astonish me with precise contemporary tales set in his country of origin. “Leviathan”, presents the same quality as his three previous masterpieces - “The Return”, “The Banishment” and “Elena” – this time introducing some mythological tones, inspired on the Book of Job, and moving in the same measured way, to rub hard in our faces the hypocrisy, injustice and corruption of a rusty, yet dangerous Russian system composed by unscrupulous politicians, dishonest cops and selfish representatives of the church. In order to cope with these shameful realities, the common people drown themselves in vodka, whether to forget the miseries of life, or to celebrate a relaxed time together. The script, co-written by Zvyagintsev and his habitual partner, Oleg Negin, is centered in Kolya, an ordinary man who is ordered to leave his house, located in a remote peninsula, since the dishonored mayor has other plans for that piece of land. His last hope is the arrival of Dmitri, an old friend from the times when he served in the army, now turned into a respected lawyer with good connections in Moscow. When the case was evolving favorably, Kolya finds out that his wife, Lylia, is having an affair with Dmitri. He eventually forgives her, to notice afterward that it’s Roma, his depressed son, who seems to require the most urgent attention. Not neglecting some humor, the grim “Leviathan” strikes us with its landscapes, truths and symbolism, leaving us frozen in our chairs but boiling inside with all the cynicism and terrifying procedures of Mr. Putin’s regime and his vassals. Oddly, the film counted with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture but didn’t get a screening permit in the country.

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