First, it is a great movie. Secondly, several times I caught myself thinking about how this movie about Russia. And that’s what I came up with. On the one hand is of course about Russia. The picture, dialogue, signs of the times (Russia 24, TNT) everyone talks about it. But on the other hand, it is certainly not about Russia, but about people in General. About atomization, which is a consequence of the lack of love and not only to neighbor but to himself. It’s not even selfishness, it’s just emptiness. Filled by anything, even social media. And this is a common feature. I’m easily willing to imagine that the film is set in Norway, Canada, Germany, USA, Yes anywhere. In other words, it seems to me that Zvyagintsev told a universal story.
In the center of a simple conflict. He and she are on the verge of divorce. She has a rich lover, his young mistress. They have a 12-year-old nobody wants a child. A young boy goes missing, its starting to look. All the characters (except the mother of the heroine) representatives of the more or less middle class. Lover mother rather at the upper boundary, the mistress of the father somewhere at the bottom. That is, no financial not poor.
The film, of course, filled with the Russian context. However, the Russian realities are strikingly generalized to the universal. For example, the story about the fact that the head of the husband man of the conservative Orthodox views. As a result, employees are afraid of fire because divorce is not good, and on the events go to monasteries and temples. On the one hand, the Russian context. However, this stroke ends with a slight curl and generalizability to stories about any chief, who believes that employees need to share his views on life and what consequences it may lead.
Missing boy looking for volunteers. A lot of volunteers. By the way, I think by Russian standards it is even very powerful that on searches of the child abandoned by such forces search engines on imported SUVs and mobile staff. Yes, private, but still. I’m afraid that if it were the unvarnished prose of life a child might not seek, or be mustered some volunteers on the old UAZ. Although perhaps I underestimate the situation, there is a large volunteer formations to find the children. However, this detail does not matter who and how is looking for a child a platoon of French gendarmes, a company of Italian carabinieri, a battalion of us Marines with a cloud of drones, or even a small (no more than 100 thousand people), a detachment of the Chinese people’s liberation army.
Moreover, I would venture to guess that even the fact that there is a boy in the end or not, also it doesn’t plays the key values. The film, again, not talking about it. The characters revealed in the search, not its results.
And of course this is a film about loneliness. Atomization of modern society. Everyone has their own little winter. Even pressed against each other alone. In the subway, in the Elevator of a large office building. It does not matter. And there is not even selfishness. Selfish love yourself though. And characters of the film do not have this feeling. And then the question templates. Templates of political correctness, or to put it simply, education.
Someone is using coarser templates (father), someone uses a more humanistic rules of conduct (the mother’s lover). For example, when he decides to help his lover to find his son, he is not acting out of love, but simply because I have to. People in trouble need help. Want it or not just need. Feel don’t feel need help. The hypocrisy of appearing to help people. Moreover, all of them still some patterns to follow, it just so happens that one inspired some templates, and others others.
And yet, Zvyagintsev in the picture very elegantly proved that a movie can fulfill all… well, let’s just say… formal and informal prohibitions, accepted in society. Swear words on the screen do not hear (although you can lip-read). No one smokes. No gays lesbians. But the story is not only a hindrance, but, on the contrary, emphasizes the contrast and makes fun of these restrictions.