Tag Archives: russia


Loveless (2017)

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?

lovelessBut 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 lovelesswith them to a certain extent. The secondary characters Natalya PotapovaMarina 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.

The music by Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine is spot on and cleverly used only when it is actually required.

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

Trumbo (2015)

Trumbo review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A rare biography that is bold enough to name the right names. 

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

Occasionally, some justice can be served by simply letting everyone know of the past injustice.

Trumbo, is not only an entertaining film by itself, but also a brilliant portrayal of the historic event of ‘Hollywood blacklist’; the shameful McCarthy era of government injustice, documented and represented with great passion and precision.

Based on the life of two-times Academy Award Winner, American screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo, the film takes us to the mid1940s America, when cold-war was at its peak and communism was a direct threat.

It was the time when employment was denied to many talented American entertainment professionals because of their political beliefs; just because they were suspected Communist sympathizers or members of the Communist Party.

And thus, the Hollywood Ten‘, a group of ten most acclaimed writers and directors of Hollywood (including Dalton Trumbo) were cited for contempt of Congress, and were not only declined from their jobs and respectable positions but also sentenced to prison without committing a single crime.

With Hedda Hopper (one of America’s most famous gossip trumbo-poster2columnist) and John Wayne (one of America’s most celebrated actor) in the forefront, the Motion Picture Association of America mistrusted and mistreated some of the most talented writers of the time.

A terrible injustice that cannot be undone.

But Dalton Trumbo was a man not to be silenced. As one of the poster of the film proudly say “When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen”. A devoted family man and an exceptional writer, though blacklisted he kept on writing remarkable screenplays one after another, without using his own name!

The film manages to capture both Trumbo’s genius and his never-give-up attitude perfectly.

Great direction by Jay Roach (was a fan of his comedy films as well), but the film’s real strength is Bryan Cranston (yes, the guy trumbo-poster3from Breaking Bad) who has given a superlative performance.

And then of course there are the likes of Helen MirrenDiane LaneMichael Stuhlbarg and David Maldonado to steer the film to the success it deserves.

Trumbo is a film that is unapologetically true to its content and tells a story that desperately needs to be told.

Though 2 hours screen-time seems a tad lengthy for the film but yet, a must watch biography for all you film lovers.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.