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Leviathan (2014)Leviathan is perhaps the most poignant at modern Russian life seen in… More Leviathan is perhaps the most poignant at modern Russian life seen in film today. The film has more than one conflict, but it begins with that of Kolya, a hothead landowner, and corrupt mayor Vadim who's trying to take this property away from him. The film criticizes Russian culture, but more importantly the corruption in the bureaucratic society. While the laws cited in some court room scenes may sound just like the US Constitution, it soon becomes clear that very little of the legal process is followed by those on top. While the film is set in a smaller town, I do believe the statement by the director is corruption throughout the nation. There's a very strong scene, when many of the protagonist go out shooting- the targets are framed images of former Russian dictators. One character asks is there anyone more modern, in reply another character states that we will let history reflect on those. But Zvyagintsev has a bit of a different statement, in one scene there's a portrait of Vladimir Putin standing right behind Vadim in his office. I see this as Zvyagintsev pointing the corruption all the way to the top. Which is interesting since 35% of the films funding is from the Russian minsitry of culture. But they themselves have had a change of heart. From Wiki Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture, acknowledged that the film showed talented moviemaking but said he does not like it. He sharply criticized its portrayal of ordinary Russians as vodka-swigging and foul-mouthed, which he does not recognize from his experience. He thought it strange that there is not a single positive character in the movie, implying that the director was not fond of Russians but rather "fame, red carpets and statuettes." He has proposed guidelines which would ban movies which defile national culture. The films conflict later does focus more on the personal life of Kolya, but the aspect of the mayor and his corruption is always looming in the background. The movie could have ended more powerfully, but suddenly, in the final court room scene. Zooming into the all so familiar prosecutor. While I didn't find this part shocking, I found it hardening. Instead the film has a strong in a Russian Orthodox Church. Which is also brutally criticized by the film. The film ends in the same scenery and with the same music as when it began. Raising the question, have things changed? And will they ever?
27 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes