A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.
Director/co-writer Andrey Zvyagintsev created a sensation with the very powerful "Leviathan" released in 2014. The earlier film was very critical of the authorities in Russian society (which irked actual Russian authorities) while "Loveless" is critical of the degradation of Russian individuals and society in general. Some characters are more attached to their smartphones than to the people around them. Boris is attached to the endless news cycle. (In one such scene, it is fascinating to hear the biased Russian media's take on the troubles in Ukraine a few years back).
Boris's worst characteristic is his extreme indifference to others while Zhenya is a verbally abusive monster. It is easy to despise her for the way she treats her husband and son but her story is brought to the forefront when the viewer witnesses her with her equally monstrous mother (Natalya Potapova). At this point the viewer sees Zhenya as someone at both ends of the tragic "unwanted child" syndrome - a trait that is sadly hereditary.
Among Zvyagintsev's gifts is the way he handles sex scenes. Rather than the quasi-pornography that is rampant in modern films, the sex scenes in this film are actually erotic and intimate. And despite the film's title, they do represent rare moments when people are loving toward each other.
He is also adept at maintaining a bleak mood throughout the film - one that reflects most of the characters and the society around them. There is an extended scene that involves an abandoned building. One can't help but observe that the building looks functional and even pleasant in some rooms. Like some of the human characters, it was unnecessarily neglected and left to rot.
The epilogue of "Loveless" takes place a few years after the main story. Without giving anything away, its conclusion is sad yet not altogether surprising considering the scenes that preceded it. It's the right conclusion for a very good film with very powerful performances. And its subtle jab against the degradation of people via modern technology is not just a Russian problem; it's truly universal. - dbamateurcritic
- Apr 24, 2018