LEVIATHAN, a film by ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV (Madman DVD)

 |   |  <1 min read

LEVIATHAN, a film by ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV (Madman DVD)

The titular beast from the depths in this bleak and sometimes depressing masterpiece only fully reveals itself in the final half hour, and it's not that on the cover of this DVD.

In a remote fishing town on the Berents Sea in the far north of Russia, Kolia (Oleg Negin) is trying to save his auto-repair business and rather lovely old house from a compulsory acquisition which the mayor in helming with the muscle of both his office and the local hoods in his pay.

Kolia, his young second wife Lilya (the somewhat mysterious Elena Lyadova) and his teenage son from a previous marriage are the helpless pawns in a larger game being played out in a way they simply have no knowledge of. So even when Kolia enlists the help of a former army buddy-turned-lawyer to argue his case there is a grinding inevitability to his fate.

But worse awaits along the way when relationships sour, the local thugs run his lawyer out of town and friendships are sorely tested.

All this is played out in a wash of vodka, against a natural landscape that is bleak and unforgiving, and in large mayoral chambers or the Church which are oppressive in the weight of their history. And indifferent to Kolia's fate.

With music by Philip Glass, this is a dark parable -- with allusions to Thomas Hobbes' 17th century treatise of the same name -- about the corruption of power and its hapless victims, and in its own way is a very different kind of Russian realism.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

NEBRASKA, a film by ALEXANDER PAYNE (Roadshow DVD)

NEBRASKA, a film by ALEXANDER PAYNE (Roadshow DVD)

The story of America is entwined with the myth of the road. From Daniel Boone and “Go West, Young Man” wagon trains through Jack Kerouac, Easy Rider, Springsteen's lyrics and onto... > Read more

I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, a doco by SEAN DONNELLY (MVD DVD)

I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, a doco by SEAN DONNELLY (MVD DVD)

For those who don't know, or perhaps would prefer to forget, Tiffany was a sky-rocketing teenage pop singer in the late Eighties who had two hits: I Think We're Alone Now (a cover of the Tommy... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Although they hit their peak when the American bands fought back against the British Invasion in the mid Sixties, Jay and the Americans always seemed like a band from an earlier era with their big... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LAIBACH: The politics of noise

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LAIBACH: The politics of noise

Out of the old Yugoslavia in the early Eighties they came, their industrial sound grinding like tank tracks across the earwaves of Europe, their look unacceptably miltaristic, their irony... > Read more