Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Loznitsa’s construction of this world apart – which is, of course, a grotesque allegory for Russia itself – is as immersive as it is unnerving.
In systematic and cinematically dazzling fashion, Loznitsa’s nihilistic riff will drag you to a circle of hell that makes Dante’s “Inferno” look like a love sonnet, and you’ll walk out of the film feeling woozy, defeated and utterly destroyed, in that order.
The film beguiles with its bravura but it’s a deliberately punishing journey, made by a male Cassandra impelled to point out his nation’s destruction yet sadly aware that it’s too late to change the tide of history.
Though not as successful as its predecessor, Loznitsa’s latest nonetheless confirms the director’s place of honor amongst cinema’s most vociferous critics of Putin’s kingdom.
It is gripping and absorbing in its way, although perhaps too conscious of its own metaphorical properties and opinion may divide as to whether its expressionist element works. Yet there is no doubt as to its power, and its severity.
Creature is exceptional in its depiction of the Byzantine bureaucracy that encases gulags, and how the towns adjacent to Russian prisons tend to be seedy snake pits of crime and venality.
A Gentle Creature is a grim state-of-the-nation fable, a bitter mix of tragedy, farce and road movie soaked in the bleak sardonic spirit of Gogol and Dostoyevsky, not to mention gallons of vodka.
A Gentle Creature is an arduous watch indeed and will leave you a certain nausea that takes a while to go away. However, its mysterious ways, bolstered with a bit of psychedelic surrealism, makes it notable.
At times, there is something almost spoofy about this film’s relentless miserableness. Its 30-minute long hallucinatory dream sequence didn’t work for me – it might be that you need a degree in Russian history to make sense of its allegory on the nature of power.
Despite a first half of great promise, the film is ultimately ground down by the endless suffering even as it bloats with a bizarre lurch into satirical fantasy.

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