I'm a writer/actor struggling to live off the scraps life (and my neighbour) throws at me. Seriously, I borrowed two dollars ONCE to get some milk, and now I'm finding bits of fruit peel in my yard. Not funny Kev. I'm at youbeautreviews.wordpress.com
With the Alliance French Film Festival and a few other notable new releases floating around the cinema, it's been easy for Russian-made Leviathan to fall through the cracks. This I discovered at it's first preview screening last Saturday, and to our surprise Palace Centro in James St was nearly a ghost town. The lovely lady at the counter (the staff are always friendly here) informed us we were the first one's to even buy a ticket! Now, really people!
This is a multi-award winning film. It won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, was nominated for an Oscar in the same category, and earned some other award with a funny name at Cannes (best screenplay). There's more, but you get the point. If you call yourself a film buff and haven't planned to see this, then you're doing it wrong. All wrong. But never fear, the film releases Thursday the 26th of March, and will be showing at Palace Cinemas nationally, so you can get yourself back on track and we'll forget this oversight ever occurred.
Set in a barren coastal town in Northern Russia, Leviathan begins at the apex of a dodgy land dispute. Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), a small-time mechanic whose family has lived in the same cottage by the sea for generations, is fighting the local mayor, Sergeyich (Roman Madyanov – this guy is excellent), against his unjustified eviction and pitiful compensation. The outlook is grim, even with the enlisted help of best pal Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovitchenkov), a hot shot lawyer from Moscow.
While Dmitri and Kolya manage to ruffle the mayor's tail feathers, their plight is perilous and bleak, with nearly every avenue halted by turned backs stained by corruption. Needless to say, this film has a strong underlying message, and what you choose to relate it to is up to you. My only caution would be that if you decide to see this flick - which I encourage - prepare for a serious lack of daisies and rainbows. This is Russia baby – they've got vodka, guns and more vodka.
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena), Leviathan is rated M, runs for 141 minutes (long, but I hardly noticed) and also stars Elena Lyadova as Kolya's fractured young wife.