The film begins in the 1980s Soviet Union. Two best friends, Orlov and Muravyev, are serving at the Black Sea Navy Base in Sevastopol, Crimea. Both fall in love with one beautiful girl Nelly, and their friendship suffers a first blow. Because she picks Muravyev, his friend Orlov struggles with an inferiority complex and becomes a secretive alcoholic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, both friends are transferred to the Northern Fleet on the Polar Ocean. One day their sub is performing a routine training. A disturbed WWII mine slowly moves on a collision course with the sub. A mighty blast knocks down everyone inside the wrecked sub, 72 meters below the sea level. Then ensues a nerve-racking struggle for survival. Written by
What could have been real drama fell flat, really flat
This movie seems to be alright. And it desperately tries to feel alright. And for a large part of the population it might be alright, but it isn't.
This movie may have become the greatest drama of recent Russian movie history. However, it's attempt to describe too much at once greatly undermines its quality.
One one hand we have a typical disaster movie - an explosion on a submarine, with all necessary genre "features" - survivors, random acts of heroism etc.
On the other hand we have a standoff between main characters, which could have (only could have) been very intense. Unfotunately, Russia seems to have lost all of its acting talents. These actors simply cannot deliver.
On the third hand (oh, yeah, there's more) we have personal drama of one of the main characters, delivered through a series of flashbacks. Again, it doesn't touch on any emotional level.
On the fourth hand we have a feeble attempt to describe the dire state of Russia'a fleet after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These attempts are not only feeble, but overly nationalistic as well (things like "Hey, Slavs, anybody here" followed by "You are not Ukrainian, are you").
Et cetera, et cetera.
This movie could have been great. It isn't. It may have been Ernst, who didn't let the movie blossom, but you can't blame Ernst for everything, can you? 5/10, not more
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