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Two teenage Russian boys have their father return home suddenly after being absent for 12 years. The father takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake in the north of Russia that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The budget of the film remains a secret, though in an interview the director and the producer hinted that it was well under $500,000. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev also mentioned that the producers made their money back even before they went with the movie to Venice where it was "discovered". See more »
When Ivan is sitting in the car, the camera pans around the car (before we see him grab the binoculars and begin to use them) - as it pans past the triangular car window you can see the camera reflected in it. See more »
[on-screen caption: Sunday]
[boy falls in the water, then floats up]
Jump as we agreed! Who climbs down the ladder is a cowardly wanker.
[swims to the shore]
Boy on Tower:
Go on, Vityok. You're next.
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During the end credits, there are still photos. See more »
We get plenty of US/UK movies, a reasonable amount of European and oriental movies, but it is comparatively rare that we get a movie from Russia over here. Russian film-making has a very distinctive style and tradition, so good examples of it are a welcome change. Certainly The Return lives up to any expectations of good art-house. The Russian outback is noted for its harshness and it probably requires a particular type of character to survive and flourish there. This unusual coming-of-age movie looks at two brothers raised largely by their mother. When their father returns after 12 years and takes them on an extended fishing trip they react very differently. The father is authoritarian a complete change for the boys from the protective mother. He is a complex figure is he a pilot? A crook? Part of him seems to genuinely love the boys and want to help them toughen up for the world they will live in, but the trip has tragic consequences.
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