written by Souranath Banerjee
Loveless Review: Cold and toxic, a disintegration of marriage metaphorically portraying an entire nation’s predicament!
My Ratings: 4.4/5
A bitter divorce is never an easy experience for any couple but certainly the real victims are always the children. The most traumatic realisation a child has to cope with is that neither his parents wants custody of him, that he is just an unwanted baggage, a burden, that he is a mere glitch in their ugly adult world.
And that is exactly what happens to 12-year-old young Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), the terrible hard-hitting feeling of being loveless.
On one side Alyosha’s father (Aleksey Rozin) is having an affair with a younger woman who is pregnant with his child and on the other hand his harsh-speaking mother (Maryana Spivak) is passionately in love with a wealthy older man. On the verge of a nasty divorce the parents indulge themselves into a spate of brutal outbursts completely oblivious of the child who eventually decides to vanish from their lives for good.
Where is he gone? Has something happened to him? A kid cannot just disappear like that?
But then writer/director Andrey Zvyagintsev (of Leviathan fame) along with writer Oleg Negin uses this tragic event to serve a bigger purpose, to narrate and critique the conditions in contemporary Russia, a country where everyone is desperately looking for – a lost loveless kid or may be it is simply Love that they are searching for?
Here we are talking about one nation (though I personally think it is a worldwide problem) where Happiness has become a piece of merchandise that can be negotiated and bought at a price while the value of Family-stability been reduced to a sign of status symbol. Where emotions and duty take the second seat while greed, ego and lust for a better-life gets the priority.
Absolute brilliance in the acting department – especially Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin really make you hate and even sympathise with them to a certain extent. The secondary characters Natalya Potapova, Marina Vasileva and Anna Gulyarenko also have such strong impact on the story and the audience.
But the best part is Mikhail Krichman‘s unique cinematography, the long takes and the subtle tracking of the camera brilliantly adds to the sentiments of the characters and the overall feel of the movie.
Official submission from Russia in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film‘ category at the 2018 Oscars. This is undoubtedly one of the best cinema of last year; very rarely does one film achieves a feat of representing a country and the psychology of its inhabitance with such savage precision and success.
Go watch it!
Similar interest: Leviathan Review
Similar Interest: Best Russian Classic Comedy Films
Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com