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.
Dima Nikitin is an ordinary honest plumber who suddenly decides to face the corrupt system of local politics in order to save the lives of 800 inhabitants of an old dormitory, which is about to collapse.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
On the outskirts of a small coastal town in the Barents Sea, where whales sometimes come to its bay, lives an ordinary family: Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), his wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and their teenage son Romka. The family is haunted by a local corrupted mayor (Roman Madyanov), who is trying to take away the land, a house and a small auto repair shop from Kolya. To save their homes Kolya calls his old Army friend in Moscow (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who has now become an authoritative attorney. Together they decide to fight back and collect dirt on the mayor.Written by
Leviathan takes a long, immersive look at the machinations of corrupted power in the lives of the powerless, who desperately struggle to stay the course, hoping against hope to win a losing battle.
A man and his family face off against a politically backed fat cat who wishes to buy the piece of land upon which stands their house, willing to destroy their family nest to raise a modern building in its stead. The grandiose, solemn music of Philip Glass (Akhnaten; Act I Prelude) opens and ends the movie, flanking it like a sturdy front and back cover a fine book from a Russian master's pen. Other than that, the movie is rather stark, musically and otherwise. It is remarkable how effective silent scenes can be. With little music and less sound effects, the film has your undivided attention, reaching emotional heights towards the end. The lack of a musical backdrop further enhances the gritty realism that imbues all the 140 minutes. Relationships between the characters evolve and change significantly over the span of the movie, and though the patterns are somewhat familiar, interpersonal developments are portrayed with commendable subtlety and brilliance. There is a lot of intelligence to the storytelling; much can be understood without words. We embark on a chilling journey into the land and home of ordinary, simple folks, who are kicking and screaming for justice under the suffocating oppression of ruthless power, also blighted by their own frailty.
Leviathan is an outstanding work of art that manages to drive home universally relevant points with sparkling clarity in its refreshingly honest way. A highly recommended piece.
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