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.
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
Elena walks down a hospital corridor crying quietly, then stops at a window and fights back her tears.
Lilya talks to Elena on a mobile phone while in bed, then gets up (she is shown wearing an undershirt and men's boxers), hugs and kisses her boyfriend who is watching a documentary with Slavoj Zizek on a laptop.
Vladimir watches a documentary about a locust infestation on a flatscreen in his hospital room while it's raining hard in the street.
The lawyer visits Vladimir in the hospital. Vladimir's room is shown from outside and we can't hear them talking.
This movie is great, slow but beautiful, but the ambiguity is the best part, all the themes are condensed in the first and final frame, think about it, what is worth? the welfare of many aside his flaws or the coldness and sterility of few.
The atmosphere is hypnotic.
All the characters have reasonable grounds, all are ugly but very real.
The synthesis to show the decadence and disillusionment of Russian youth is strong
the performances are outstanding overhanging the main female character which we do not know if understand or condemn and even though the couple has some reason the mother instinct is prevalent, is simply a game of survival.
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