LOVELESS finds Zvyagintsev at his most crisp and mighty as a visual artist, but though (naturally) he can be hamfisted as a storyteller and conveyor of oafish message, he does deserve credit here for gradually broadening his tableau beyond what could have been wholly dreadful, tedious, and self-righteous to something more dynamic and broadly societal. Of course he couldn't end it without slamming us over the head.
Man, those long takes go on forever. This movie is so pensive and melancholy... it teases being a thriller throughout, and that in itself is thrilling. That poor kid. Zvyagintsev shows again his eye for beautiful shot composition and subtle transitions and focus-changes.
For much of its duration, Loveless feels like it is a slightly undercooked drama, until the final act when it comes together in a way that may not please all audiences. In many respects, it's like L'Avventura conceptualised (if not quite stylised) by Hitchcock. A brilliantly directed enigma that will benefit from a second viewing.
A bitter divorce as an allegory of the Russian socio-political climate? Hopefully, MSM Russophobes won't use this as a vehicle to peddle other agendas. It is a strong Zvyagintsev film. The exploration of technological solipsism, the tension between atheism and religion, gender dynamics in crisis and an enigmatic evaluation of Russia's annexation of Crimea make this a cerebral and profound melodrama indeed.
Lo mejor de Zvyagintsev sin caer en el drama gratuito. Los protagonistas son detestables. Al ruso no se le quita el deseo de convertir a sus protagonistas en seres degradados, padres negligentes. Lo cierto es que esa degradación es compartida con personajes secundarios. La policía, el jefe barbudo, una hija. Lo mejor: la desaparición silenciosa y el remordimiento (que se esfuma). Todo luce como parte de una rutina.
Brutal and tragic. Interesting how the searchers who are trying to find the boy have to display cold calculation in order to not let sentimentality cloud their judgement. Meanwhile, the family members who should care are incapable due to their narcissistic emotional needs. Not a pretty picture of the cycle of abuse in a heartless world. Well-paced and well-shot. Enjoyed the diegetic sound.
The plot is fairly simple. The bitterness and selfishness of the main characters are almost unbearable. Some expositions are quite redundant. But, Andrey Zvyagintsev's delicate and masterfully crafted tension turned 'Loveless' into an immensely absorbing social and psychological drama.
L'avventura with mobiles, in Putin's Russia. Everything perfectly nailed, message about active solidarity included, but it still remains the sum of its parts in the end. (Maybe knowingly so. Maybe it wouldn't even be honest to go for that 'extra something' in a world so trivial and empty like this.)