At times it feels like an extended music video for a terrible band named Nautilus, but always with an eye for unnerving composition and use of shadow. I was shocked to learn of its cheapness, the grit and grime so immersive I foolishly believed it had been paid for. It elevates its 'birth of gangster' type by the sheer historical baggage it carries, an alienation to violence. Bad subs left me a little behind.
Despite all the discussion about the ideological undertones, this remains one of the classics from Russia. The strongest part is not even the characters, story, or the aesthetic - it is the overwhelming dirt and rotten morality of the early 90s Russia that takes the cake.
The whole movie succeeds on this enigmatic character. His sense of justice and fairness in the chaotic St. Petersburg is fascinating. The only weakness I felt for the film, and it's a big one, was the older brother's motivation for his actions. Otherwise, this is a great pulpy thriller. Curious about the second film and more works by Balabanov.
Buena película, que mete al espectador de lleno en la Rusia de los años 90, aunque la verdad es que la trama resulta un poco confusa. Extraordinaria interpretación de Serguéi Bodrov, dando vida a Danila, un personaje absolutamente primario. Buen plano final, que recuerda al de "Of Freaks and Men"
Subtlety at its finest... Brother (Brat), little or big, the relationship is pure Russian, Mother included. I wish more American movies could layer like this. The film is subversive indeed... Only how to survive this base society, where what it takes to aspire to be good is a little aspirin, thought and to just keep moving... And not let your good intended guard down. Just try to remake this in America. Good Luck.
Aleksei Balabanov's take on life in the slums of post Cold War Russia is at times bleak but always riveting. Sergey Bodrov Jr.'s performance echoes a young James Dean in his prime. The film gives us a look inside the grim Russian underworld but looks at it with a humane eye. Both director and the star have passed away since then, and it's a shame I've just found their work. Definitely watching more. Great film!