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8.4
/10
3,885 Ratings

The Return

Возвращение

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Russia, 2003
Drama, Thriller
  • Russian
  • English

Synopsis

To make up for lost time, two brothers embark on a fishing trip with their father, who has suddenly returned after a 12-year absence. But their secretive father seems to conceal obscure plans and baffles the teens with his bouts of temper and occasional charm. Something sinister hangs in the air.

Our take

A master of seething family tensions, Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) made waves right from the start with this auspicious debut film. Evocative of early Polanski, this haunting trip won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and marked him as a rising star of Russian cinema.

The Return Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching, this 2003 debut feature immediately establishes Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev as a master… A former actor, Zvyagintsev elicits first-rate performances from his male leads, but what registers most is the sharpness and intensity of his vision of nature and childhood experience.
April 29, 2004
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Mr. Zvyagintsev creates a most moving tension between his archetypal themes and the bristling specificity of his characters. The film, which opens today in New York, is at once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). “The Return” announces the arrival of a major new talent.
February 06, 2004
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The Return begins as a mysterious quest, shades into a discomfiting thriller, then a survival story, and finally a tragic parable. Primordial and laconic, this remarkably assured debut feature has the elegant simplicity of its title. The mode is sustained, the structure overt. Some may be put off by the movie’s cool technique and boldly closed form, but it clearly announces Zvyagintsev as a director to watch.
January 27, 2004
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