Thursday, June 6, 2013

Film Critique: 'The Return'

It's been a while since I've posted- They'll be some news about Ipseity and other projects soon, but I wanted to change gears for a little bit before we get closer to the Ipseity premiere...

I haven’t utilized this blog for the purpose of film critiques up to this point, but I’ve begun to dive into some cinematic pieces that deserve to be mentioned, and I feel like this is one of the best venues to discuss them.  I won't be writing these film critiques to summarize the plot or give a description of what happens in the film (although I might, if it’s important to my critique) - rather, I hope to focus on the strengths, intent, and interpretation of the film.

The Return (2003)
Drama – 105 minutes
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Andrey Zvyagintsev's 'The Return'

The Return is the debut film of Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev. I didn’t know anything about this film or the director before I watched it – I happened to come across the film online after browsing through a number of films. This film caught my eye, and after reading the tagline/description on IMDB and Amazon Prime, it looked like it would be a dramatic story with an underlying secret (or twist) to its premise (In other words, I was expecting there to be a dramatic reveal of some kind).

With this expectation, I was waiting for the reveal to be set up and then rightfully paid off. After an hour and twenty minutes in, I felt as though few promises had been made, and even fewer clues had been dropped.

One minute later, all of my thoughts about the film changed, and the previous hour and twenty minutes carried more weight than I thought they ever could.

Everything in the first hour and twenty of the film builds up the characters and is paid off in the final ten minutes of the film in a sufficiently beautiful manner. The beauty and eeriness of this film isn’t complete until the very final frame.

Ivan Dobronravov, who plays the lead character, is a force of nature. The young actor brings a sincerity and honest emotion that is rarely seen among seasoned actors, which makes it even more remarkable, considering this film was his debut role.

Viewers expecting solid answers to the plot will be disappointed, but they are also missing the nature of the film. If solid answers were given, the film would fail to conjure emotions that were as strong and as potent as the feelings that the characters are left with at the end of the film.

1 comment:

  1. It takes a good film critique to recognize that emotion plays an important role in conveying a message about the character in the film. If i can feel what the character is feeling i can interpret what the character is going through emotionally. Well done. Nick.