Sanja the Bandit after a particularly vicious shootout, stumbles into the musician Oleg at the local banya. Following a retelling of a semi-mythological story, the pair decide to make a pilgrimage to a "bell-tower of happiness".
Dariya the maid getting a boy to touch her large breast is just one incident that occurs when Yohan and Victor infiltrate two families, forcing young Liza and blind Ekaterina to appear in porn, but they are not so innocent themselves.
This movie is about the stern gangster customs of one of the Russian provincial cities in the mid-90s . And you could expect either a stupid game of blind man's buffets or a truly bloody showdown with the stacks of "bluffers".
During the bloody war in Chechnya, a British couple and two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen rebels. Two of the hostages are then released to bring the money for the British woman who is forced to wait for the ransom.
A huge black SUV is rolling down a desolate summer road. In it are the Bandit, his friend Matthew with his old father, the Musician, and a beautiful girl. They are looking for the Bell Tower of Happiness which, according to rumors, is located somewhere between St. Petersburg and Uglich, near an abandoned nuclear power plant. The Bell Tower takes people away; not everyone, however. But each person in the huge black vehicle believes that he will be one of the chosen.Written by
A personal film about mankind's search for happiness
This film (best translated as "Me Too") was Balabanov's farewell to the world - he knew he hadn't long to live, and as such it has deeply spiritual and introspective elements to it (the director himself makes an effective cameo).
The subject bears some similarity to Tarkovsky's Stalker (the idea of people entering a walled off zone in search for a one stop solution to their life problems), including its focus on spiritual questions, but keeping the dialog more natural and accessible as opposed to delving deep into philosophical discussions as in Stalker. Like Tarkovsky it also features long takes - though Balabanov maintains his traditional Scorecese like preference for popular music leading the soundtrack, a more upbeat rhythm to the shots, and affinity for montage.
The film features mostly non-professional actors, all of whom are directed to perfection. The story is easy to follow, the characters have color and authenticity. I would have preferred a little more economy with some sequences, it seems Balabanov slowed his pace a bit compared to his earlier films, but being that this is a film of spiritual contemplation that is not a bad direction to err in. At the same time, Balabanov keeps his sense of humor and that makes the story more fun to absorb. This is definitely a fitting end to a career of a lively director who's body of work is not as known in the west as it should be, and a great invitation to contemplate, in a non-pretentious manner, the question of what 'happiness' is.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this