"In a Russian coastal town, Nikolai is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Nikolai and his family."
From Andrey Zvyagintsev (director of Elena and The Return) comes a new movie set in a rural village in Russia.
It is such a powerful movie that gets you right in the brain and stays there after having watched it.
With a very dense script full of characters which go back and forth, the movie wants to create a sense of closeness with the spectator through them and it does it really well, even with the length of the movie (2.20 hours) your emotions stay there all the time and you don't feel disconnected ever, moreover, you need the movie to keep going and not finish.
The script is just amazing, the actors are superb and the way the director manages to get your attention from one to another is very "kubrickish", playing with them within the frame and letting them walk through it and do their actions.
Its cinematography is just marvelous, condensed and content, the director knows what he wants and how to show it and Mikhail Krichman (I have the honour of working with in a movie in Ireland right now) shows the places as they are, but with a cinematography touch, let's say that he, as a cinematographer, brings the naturalism to the movie but places little touches that let you know that the light is there because it has to be there.
There is a marvelous sequence which I think it is really difficult and starts with the main female character in bed, she gets up, goes to the bathroom and leaves the house.
It is easily perceived that there is a light at the beginning and in some other places but it is so well placed that you feel it as if it were normal there.
Obviously it is not a single take (which would have been amazing and it matches the director's vision very well) but the way it is cut is flawless.
A movie full of long, thought and meditated takes that brings us back the cinema of the Russian realism but with a modern twist.
By the way, Mikhail got the 2014 Cameraimage award because of this movie .
Very highly recommended, even more now that is in Bluray!
Have a good day.