Still living under the same roof, the Moscow couple of Boris and Zhenya is in the terrible final stages of a bitter divorce. Under those circumstances, as both have already found new partners, the insults pour down like rain in this toxic familial battle zone, always pivoting around the irresolvable and urgent matter of Alyosha's custody, their 12-year-old only son. Unheard, unloved, and above all, unwanted, the introverted and unhappy boy feels that he is an intolerable burden, however, what his parents don't know is that he can hear every single word. As a result, when Boris and Zhenya finally realize that Alyosha has been missing for nearly two days, it is already too late. But is this a simple case of a runaway teenager?Written by
My wife and I frequently find ourselves wondering why so many people we know decided to even have children in the first place, so little priority do they give them in their lives. They act like children are a roadblock to all of these exciting things they would otherwise be doing, instead of recognizing them as exciting things in their own right and probably more likely to enrich their lives in ways that matter than any of the other endeavors these people seem so fixated on. But they don't recognize this, and as a result the kids suffer for it.
"Loveless" is a bleak and scathing indictment of this kind of modern-day parenting, a world of selfish adults pursuing their petty little enjoyments while ignoring the children they voluntarily brought into the world. It's a tough film to watch, though not as tough as I thought it would be. The little boy at the center of the story isn't in the film very long before he goes missing, so we're spared scenes of the misery he feels at home with a super bitch of a mom and a checked out dad. The couple of scenes we get are enough. Then, the film turns into a "L'Aventurra" like odyssey as the parents and authorities go looking for him. What makes the film tough to watch more than anything are the horrid characters that populate it. These people may have once been happy, and maybe have the potential to be happy again, but if so we see no signs of it. These are wretched souls who take their misery out on each other, and walking out of the movie theater after this film was over was like walking into the fresh air after being trapped in a dank crawl space. The film is claustrophobic in its nihilism.
But, and this is a big "but," despite the above paragraph that makes this film sound like a chore to sit through, it's actually a wonderful movie and fascinating in a morbid kind of way. It's bleak to be sure, but people who are exhilarated by good film making can leave even a bleak movie on a high if it's done well, and this is one of those films.
Nominated for a 2017 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film from Russia.
24 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this