March 27, 2015

The Fool (2014)

The Fool (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Yuriy Bykov
Country: Russia

Movie Review: The multiple awarded “The Fool”, from emergent director Yuriy Bykov, is a pulsing drama that takes a bitter look in contemporary Russia and its socio-political problems. The hero here, in the true sense of the word, is Dima Nikitin (Artyom Bistrov), a modest, yet smart plumber who doesn’t hide his will to go further in his career. He’s studying hard to be a civil engineer, even knowing it’s going to be strictly necessary to bribe someone in the governmental department to take a position of that kind. Family life - with his wife and little son - is far from being perfect, since they still live with his parents, confined to an old house that doesn’t reunite the best conditions. His untouchable honesty, a virtue he gained from his hopeless father, will have a price after a call to inspect a burst pipe in District A, the most problematic neighborhood in town. A crack that goes from the first to the ninth floor of the decrepit building clearly indicates that it might fall in the next hours. Promptly, Dima reports the fact to the mayor, Nina Galaganova (Natalya Surkova was brilliant), who was in a degrading party, celebrating her birthday with her corrupt staff. With 820 people in danger, she shows concern about the problem and determination in solving it, but will the ‘system’ allow her to do the right thing? “The Fool” counts with exceptional performances, exhibiting enough intrigue, and uncovering the moral filth hidden under the carpet of bureaucracy and unreasonable solutions. It’s also packed with miserable scenarios of poverty, violence and drugs, and all the painful realities that are neglected in order to feed the wealth of the highest Russian patents. Yes, lamentably in some shabby countries, honesty and integrity are mistaken for foolishness.

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