With perfectly matched cinematography and direction Leviafan is an astute study of belonging, corruption, loyalty and man against the machine. It's a mature voice that mirrors the complexity of life with with a deft touch, happily ending it's minor narrative threads as abruptly as they begin. 4 stars
It's a good movie, but would be much better without these Antonioniesque moods, passages "truths of the silence" or whatever. Also, characters lack some meat. There's no hard grip on their hearts and minds, cause director is mostly after tracking social injustice. Still, worth watching.
Despite having moments and outstanding performances, I have the strange feeling that I missed many things despite never stop looking at the screen. Like taking storyline with scissors and remove pieces of thread of each conflict. Photography is dutiful, flat, open. Classical direction.
Big, mean, ruthless... Russia as a mammoth collective which prides itself for it's truthful grandeur, and still sobs and drinks itself to sleep for it at the same time. The beast is live for the old generations; a carcass to the new. Can't help but love these babushkas!
My review of arguably the finest movie of 2014, is at http://moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.in/2015/01/171-russian-director-andrei.html It is a bold and openly critical film of contemporary Russia from a director who could be termed as the new Andrei Tarkovsky It is a film with layers of meaning that will make any intelligent viewer think.
Russia has gone from the Tsars to authoritarian communism to whatever the hell Putin is, and Zvyagintsev, with this sense of history, confirms his rep as a master of the slow-burn allegory. A brilliantly written drama, surreptitiously laying out important details as it draws a chilling (yet often comical) look at how corrupt systems can't be challenged because the challengers are only human. One of 2014's best.
A harrowing view of Russia today that variously swings from drowning in vodka to being beaten by the corrupt police and the local government officials. The beautiful landscapes are in stark contrast to the poverty of the people in this small northern town and there is no justice in this kind of poverty. The lawyer from Moscow, a Russian mirror of Jon Hamm in Mad Men, trains in to confront these injustices ...
It's as if Frank Capra and Tarkovsky co-directed a feature - powerfully incisive in form and visually cunning. It's hard to say that "Leviathan" is the best representation of what power is at a larger scale, but it does an outstanding job at depicting the politics of a microcosmos. And, of course, knockout performances elevate this into what will soon become a classic.