An intimate yet far-ranging post-Soviet road movie by an Estonian director, filmed in Russian, with Kazakhstan as the destination. Captures the fatalistic and melancholy outlook of orphans who are left to fend for themselves. Polina Pushkaruk adeptly anchors the movie as the somber ingénue; Victoria Lobacheva, as her ragamuffin sidekick, captures both the chaotic anger and sad naivete of a child hungry for affection.
It moved me to tears. I don’t think you can fully understand what emotions the girls went thru as orphans. You never really trust that you are loved. You didn’t grow up in a secure home knowing your parents were always there for you. No one was, So you try to keep your distance and not let your guard down. It was hard to watch at times because it rings true to more people than you think. Yes, they needed each other.
3.5 An unusual take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. Found Anya's naivete as a lovesick grad student unbelievable, given her strong personality in orphanage high school where she has no problem saying "I changed my mind." Beautiful scenery. Devastating tragedy. Christine is a trying personality, but she helps get Anya to Grandmother's house. Not so sure it's good for Anya to revert to an even younger age!
A movie that rises above its own trappings of a coming-of-age, buddies-on-the-road, genre film. It's an emotional character study that pulls no punches in showing the trials of these young girls, one running from the law, and one running from life. It's somber and full of hardship and pain, but ultimately offers a look at what redemption might look like. It's a tough watch, but one that is certainly worth it.
The cinematography was beautiful. The desaturation of the city, contrasted by the warmth and color of the ending set the tone perfectly and helps you sink farther into the world of the characters. The colors grow and change as the characters do. The camera also uses tricks to make you believe one thing until you find out the truth later. An absolutely stunning example of how the camera can change the whole feel.
An excellent film! Ilmar Raag truly told an ultimately heartwarming tale of friendship and its legacy. The film also incorporates intriguing symbolism and fascinating motifs that reflect two orphans' yearnings as they wander far from home. Raag also uses seasonal change that galvanizes auras of either isolated, cold hopelessness or warm charming springtime havens. This is a well-flowing story packed with formalism.
An appealing tale of two orphan girls hitch-hiking across Russia but threatened and failed by men along the way is ultimately and ironically let down by the male director. The young female actors largely deliver on a potentially heart-breaking story but the director's insistence on the focus on his skills in the choice of settings, lighting and music leads to a want to remain detached from the film's core drama.