In a Russian coastal town, Kolya 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 Kolya and his family.
A story of a simple, naive Russian man Konek and the people around him: his love and her sister and a mysterious man. The film is set in 1957, time of changes, time of waiting for something big to happen.
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
Victor Sluzhkin signs on as a teacher of geography in a secondary school in his native Perm (in the Urals) and gets lost in a haze of hard vodka, desperate love for a nymphet-like student ... See full summary »
Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena's son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir's daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life. Written by
Cannes Film Festival
Discussing which profession Vladimir could have had in the past, Andrey Zvyagintsev and Andrey Smirnov presupposed an elderly rich man from today's Russia could have been a security officer from the KGB, or a functionary of Komsomol (the youth division of the Soviet communist party), or a scientist who went into business after the Soviet Union collapse. They decided Vladimir should be a scientist because Smirnov didn't look like the other two types. Despite the character's status, Smirnov considered him "an a**hole". See more »
The beautiful camera-work is not enough to redeem this utterly banal and empty story. The underlying message raises the old question of utilitarianism: is the happiness of the many more important than the wealth of a few? This is as deep as it gets and disappointment awaits at the end - is that all?
The main character's motivations are not entirely convincing. The only interesting character is the rich man's rebellious daughter. The rest are pawns in a mundane play full of tediously and pointlessly protracted scenes of everyday life.
Philip Glass returns with his equally banal and repetitive music, a five-minute repetition of one short motif.
20 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?