Bergmanesque, rather than Tarkovskianesque. It certainly has a poignant atmosphere and is worth watching. Yet, a captivating plot, a brilliant photography and a wonderful cast can hardly make a vision.
Reminiscent of the sinister, unspoken solitude of "The Return", with its graceful camera movement and wonderful music. It skirts moral judgement in favour of communicating a massive sense of loss, and of men unable to express the impotence and rage that lies beneath their codes of honour.
While Zvyagintsev, owner of a remarkably subtle and pleasuring directing style, takes his time in setting the mood and tone of the film, the story is so minimally told and gives so little to the viewer to work with other than grand images of the Russian countryside and a few glancing details, that by the time his reworkings of time and meaning come to take place, their significance proves diminished and even obsolete