The Return (Vozvrashchenie)

The Return
  • 2003
  • US
  • 1h 45min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Andrey Zvyagintsev
  • Written by: Vladimir Moiseyenko, Aleksandr Novototsky
  • Cast: Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Natalia Vdovina
  • Language: Russian

After an entirely unexplained 12 year absence, a father (Lavronenko) returns home to his two adolescent sons Andrei (Garin) and Ivan (Dobronravov), and suggests to their mother (Vdovina) that he takes the children on a fishing trip. The trio head out by rowing boat to a little-known island, but the boys are unprepared for their dad's remote and brutally demanding nature. This ominous, sparse and laconic fable opens itself up to various allegorical and metaphorical interpretations, be they religious, political, or Oedipal, which revolve around the conflict with paternal authority. Impressively shot by cinematographer Mikhail Kritchman in colour-drained tones and in long, carefully framed takes, which convey the harshly elemental nature of the film's universe, 'The Return' is given real resonance by its three compelling lead performances. Scary beans.

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