- 1h 40m
He thought he was in control of his own life. Then he lost his wife and thought it was the hardest hit he could handle. It was not.He thought he was in control of his own life. Then he lost his wife and thought it was the hardest hit he could handle. It was not.He thought he was in control of his own life. Then he lost his wife and thought it was the hardest hit he could handle. It was not.
A boring Russian movie about whining featuring an artistic pretense.
It's a boring movie about a middle-aged man Dmitry who, after burying his younger wife Elena, finds out she had a lover for 15 years-that's the age of both their marriage and their son. Worse: all of Elena's relatives and friends turn out to have known about her affair. The widower and the lover then meet and engage into the most aimless pursuit of figuring out how long? When? What? And whose is the son? Valeri Todorovsky, the movie's director, must have thought he was unearthing the deepest layers of the so-called big Russian soul. What he succeeded in was a grim movie about male impotence. That impotence is the main characters' inability to overcome their grief and re-enter the world around them. As a way of coming to terms with it, Dmitry--representative of `intelligentsia' and a linguist--starts using foul language in class-something totally unacceptable in the Russian culture. Visuals in the movie are good as individual photographs but not as Motion pictures. Photography, that could be used to counterbalance Dmitry's hopelessness, only worsens the overall grim mood. A crane shot at the cemetery looks like it belongs in a music video. As I was watching the movie in a ¾-filled theater, I kept hearing hysterical laughter and applause in reaction to certain scenes. The movie does have its grotesque moments and a good deal of sarcasm, but they are buried in endless banalities. The funny thing is, the only people who applauded when the credits rolled, appeared to have been somehow related to the film crew. Ferzan Ozpetek's `Le Fate Ignoranti' is a much more interesting take on the same subject.
- Feb 20, 2003
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