Beanpole (2019) Poster


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A beautiful mess
FrenchEddieFelson8 August 2019
Leningrad, 1945. In the aftermath of World War II, within the remaining ruins, two young women, Iya and Masha, try to give a purpose to their meaningless lives. They met at the front during this endless war but they stayed in touch, probably because they felt alone and were desperately disillusioned. They now live in the present, without any perspective for their future that they do not even try to consider. The complete disarray!

Dylda (2019) is darkly sad, with an extremely but deliberately slow pace. If you are depressed before you even consider this movie, you should probably envisage another viewing. Otherwise, this film is breathtakingly beautiful and is excellently filmed. Moreover, the gorgeous actresses Viktoria Miroshnichenko (Iya) and Ksenia Kutepova (Lyubov Petrovna) shine despite a voluntarily sober play.

As a synthesis: 7/8 of 10
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The Soul Seeks to Survive
barnesboffey-7221725 September 2019
This movie is an intense and thoughtful exploration of relationships between survivors of war. The desire to find meaning and love and connection drive people to do beautiful and desperate things, and in the end to find either peace or conflict within depending on what they can accept and create within their minds. Beautifully acted.
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Slow but good
zenicaninjomu19 August 2019
This is very atmospheric movie, story about regular people and their after war life. Watched this movie at Sarajevo film festival, and I was satisfied. Must see.
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bladepowell6 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
'Beanpole' showcases a hauntingly realistic depiction of 1945 Leningrad, Russia, in the immediate months after the Second World War. The story centres around two female characters, Iya and Masha, each attempting to find their own idea of meaning and hope in this seemingly hopeless landscape. It is an extremely slow experience that takes its time with the viewer to create an unforgettable feeling that becomes burned into the viewers' minds.

The film opens with a shot of Iya having one of her PTSD caused freezing moments, and promptly establishes the tone and spirit of the film to come. In each of these 'freezing moments', the sound design is especially remarkable and it is felt as though we're being frozen alongside her. It quite literally took your breath away, and in some cases I had to actually remind myself to breath because of these stunning sequences. One of my favourite scenes in which this occurs, is where Iya's adoptive toddler son (named Pashka) and herself are play-fighting on the floor, and while Iya is on on top of Pashka, she freezes up, this time for a few minutes. It's a mesmerisingly gruesome yet beautiful long shot where all that's being shown is Iya's frozen-in-time back and Pashka's tiny hands clawing for freedom as he suffocates to death beneath Iya's weight. "Less is more" and in this scene (and the film as a whole) this is a key ideology of the director. The situation as a whole doesn't need to be shown such as showing the little boy's face, as all the audience needs to see is his hands grasping for air accentuated by the whimpers he lets out as he slowly suffocates. It gives the viewer more of an ambiguous, powerful emotion. This is just one of MANY amazing scenes that were simply so mesmerising it's hard to describe.

From the opening moments of the film until much after the credits have rolled, it's as if the movie places the viewer into an inescapable chokehold, where it demands all of your attention and nothing less. The use of sound design, cinematography and the flawlessly 'human' acting from every character creates an atmosphere like no other.

The colour palette is something that I took note of as well. The film boasts an uplifting yet also depressing spectrum of primary colours in its presentation. The colours red, green and yellow were used extremely frequently (along with other 'cheerful' sort of colours) but to me the colours themselves seemed almost 'drained' and had lost their soul. The colours were all pastel and even though the actual colour was a happy one, the tone of the colour certainly wasn't. I believe the colours represented what "could have been" had the situation that the city is currently in not occurred. The joyful colours show such a contrast to what's being shown on screen, and the 'drained' feel to them with the pastel is a bleak reminder of their situation. It's as though all the happiness has been taken away from the environment and characters, which adds to the overall feel of the movie, and assists in creating a unique atmosphere.

Although many critics have quoted that the film is much too slow with little action for their taste, in my opinion this adds to the hopeless ambience being presented. It feels as though you, the audience, are alongside the characters and feel their struggle for each moment that it's happening, which is something I must applaud the film-makers for.

This is certainly not a film for everyone, being much too slow for a mainstream audience's taste, but for those who can take some time to feel the atmosphere of the setting being shown to them, this is a true masterpiece of cinema and will stick with you for many days after you've watched it.

I give 'Beanpole' a 10/10 and it is certainly one of the very best films 2019 has to offer.
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Outstanding movie
searchanddestroy-17 August 2019
That's a Russian film about post Great Patriotic War which takes place in Leningrad, in a war veteran hospital. Two female nurses, two friends, who both fought during the war, try desperately to find a meaning to their life. To emerge from their pain, grief, disillusionment, by having a child of their own. A daily struggle to survive. That's a gripping, powerful feature, but sso gloomy and certainly not for main audiences. Unfortunately.
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A stunning but heavy and slow piece of art
eliinite30 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It's surprising that the director of this movie, Balagov, has only 27 years! And has already won FIPRESCI prize at Cannes 2 years ago with Closeness, and Un Certain regard this year! This movie is a very indie movie in the sense that it is slow, almost without music and centered on character's faces and half-faces. The main theme here is taken from the book of Nobel prize winner Svetlana Alexievich "The Unwomanly face of war" (1987), showing some shocking facts about the women who were soldiers (or just living in the very fighting zones) at the war. How strong they may seem but how weak and desperate may be inside! And how scarring the war is for (wannabe) mothers. Can a woman, experienced a heavy fighting as in Leningrad during WWII, be a femminile being? It seemed to me that these two women had to fight equally strong now, autumn 1945, just first months after the war, as in the war itself. The movie has been criticized for the scene where Iya accidentally kills her friend' s son. But I think the movie is not about morals, it's aboout the "unwomanly face of war".
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Common women in uncommon situations
groucho-nc15 October 2019
Dylda a.k.a. "Beanpole" is heavy, intense, bleak and yet a surprisingly hopeful film from Kantemir Balagov. It chronicles the life of Iya a.k.a. Dylda because of her uncommon height and gangly posture and how she navigates the tricky terrain of surviving in post-war Leningrad. The aftereffects of war seem more devastating than when war was ongoing. A semblance of normalcy actually was the most painful realization of empty lives and meaningless selves. The story at times reminded me of films such as Beyond the Hills, Disobedience and An Elephant Sitting Still. The will to survive in an unforgiving environment had to be ferociously performed, yet there are societal dimensions that keep people from their own version of happiness. The two first-time actresses truly fleshed out their characters' hunger for connection. Is there a way out of this affective blockage post-war Leningrad imposed on common women? The one thing I noticed too is that characters are neither drawn as evil or good, just people whose morality and human nature tip where circumstances point towards.
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Simply Stunning
jan41111 October 2019
Truly something i will seek out and watch again. There are scenes where the audience holds its breath and begins to breathe again when the characters move beyond the constraint. The actions and reactions are so informed by the preceding involvement of women in wartime. None of the relationships can be restarted without having been shifted by violence and uncertainty. But the players are trying to reframe the conventions of life outside conflict. The range of emotions that flow across their faces is astounding. Brilliant performances against a palette of red and green where each scene is a painting.
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Total Crap!!!
dimitriosshapovalov5 August 2019
Total crap... 150 min of wasted time... nothing to discuss
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Worth watching, if rather long
euroGary6 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Although 'Beanpole' is the nickname of the noticeably tall Iya, there are actually two leading characters in this film: the other is Masha, her best friend. The pair met on active service during World War Two and at the conclusion of hostilities set up home together in Leningrad. Both have problems: Masha suffers from recurring nosebleeds while Iya, experiencing post-concussion syndrome, has a tendency to 'zone out', entering a trance-like state during which she has no sense of her surroundings or even of herself. After suffering a major bereavement, Masha becomes obsessed with the idea of having a child and pressures Iya into attempting pregnancy on her behalf. But when Masha becomes romantically involved with the unimpressive Pasha, Iya's confused jealousy threatens the two women's friendship.

Although this is a very intimate film, it has the feel of a big-budget drama, with sets and costumes easy to consider as accurate representions of the post-war Soviet Union: the rambling, dilapidated boarding house in which Iya and Masha live is especially atmospheric. Director and co-writer Kantemir Balagov also manages a gentle dig at the class divisions in the USSR's supposed socialist utopia: while one young poverty-stricken city child is said never to have seen a dog "because they've all been eaten", the wife of a local official is seen walking a gorgeous pedigree hound in the grounds of her spacious country estate. It is hard to judge the acting of leading ladies Viktoria Miroshnichenko (Iya) and Vasilisa Perelygina (Masha) because their characters are the kind who do and say slightly weird things, but neither woman struck me as unbelievable despite that.

'Beanpole' lasts for well over two hours, but is worth watching. I saw it at the 2019 London Film Festival.
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