Leviathan (15)

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Picturehouse, Liverpool
14th - 20th November 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

A majestic film. It paints a bleak picture of contemporary Russia and the rampant corruption throughout the political system and the church.

It is the story of one man, mechanic Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), battling to preserve his home in the face of the town's mayor, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), wanting to raze it to the ground in order to develop a holiday complex.

The film has many scenes where people are endlessly imbibing vodka and chain smoking cigarettes, perhaps reflecting the despair and loneliness experienced by people trying to make ends meet in Putin's fiefdom.

The film is wondrous to behold, including many bewitching shots of winter landscapes, in contrast to the grim reality of life endured in the remote Kola peninsula of this vast country.

Apparently director Zvyagintsev has adapted the movie around the Biblical story of the trials of Job. To be frank, I have no idea if this is the case!

A plus point is the inclusion of the music of American composer Philip Glass from his recording Akhnaten. But I am mystified as to why the director chose him instead of using the music of a Russian modern classical composer, of whom there are several who compare well with Glass.

Surprisingly, given its subject matter - there is a scene where Kolya and company use portraits of former leaders, but not Boris Yeltsin, for target practice - the Russian Ministry of Culture, gave official backing to Leviathan, including helping finance it. Odd indeed.

Printer friendly page

Sorry Comments Closed