A young man drops out of university and goes to the police. He's done nothing wrong he just wants a job. A particular job. Playing the victim in murder reconstructions. Maybe by getting close to death he can manage to cheat on his own.
After Venya's mother receives a call from school reporting her son's refusal to participate in mixed swimming lessons, she first suspects her teenager of being shy and derides his claim that it is "against his religion." As Venya is finally exempted by the school's devout principal, he grows confident that his strict and rigorous study of the Bible gives him the ability to manipulate all forms of authority. Challenged by a teacher who refuses to consent to his dogma, he sets out to eliminate her and subdue an entire community. At a time when arguments over the teaching of religion in public schools are prominent in the media, this wildly escalating classroom drama - based on a play by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg - serves as a frightening cautionary tale.Written by
Under The Milky Way
The original Russian title "(M)uchenik", with the 'm' in parentheses, is a play on words, a pun, combining the Russian word "muchenik", which means "martyr", with the Russian word "uchenik", which means "student". Because the Russian pun would not be understood, and there is no way to translate it, the simplified title "Uchenik", or "The Student", was used at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. See more »
Making a movie pro or against anything as "The Student" does it, is not hard. Following the examples of the despised propaganda that biased media provide us, the movie depicts just the right circumstances that prove the needed points. I guess the film is in some way intellectually provoking but it's a 2016 film.
Let me elaborate: 1 century ago film-makers and media creators started to put to work the brainwashing power of mass-communication. Today even commercials don't take themselves too seriously; otherwise you don't take the product seriously - we all know ads are just a way to sell something.
Serebrennikov and von Mayenburg instead take themselves very seriously as if they are contributing to mankind's progress (for sale) or unveiling some great mystery (while they are just giving another shape to ideas and concerns way older than them). They take themselves too seriously for someone who chose not to become a prime minister, an academic or a prophet. They are supposedly entertainers but they don't seem to care about the boring and lengthy script.
Therefore, for the potential audience of the movie (which is very limited and likely made up of people that already agree on most of the points the authors stress), warning! This is mostly an annoying waste of time with very few redeeming moments.
While respecting the fact that someone may still learn something or ask himself some new questions as a "response" to the movie, there is nearly no entertainment; it's just a prosaic, uninspired lesson. Watch Agora (2009) instead.
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