Thursday, April 17, 2014

THE RETURN (2003)

Two teenage brothers are surprised one day when their father, whom they've never known, suddenly returns home.  The mother quietly accepts him.  To get acquainted the father proposes that he takes the two boys on a fishing road trip.  The boys are both very excited, but soon learn their father has a dark side.

THE RETURN, by first time director, Andrei Zvyagintsev, is a very good film.  All you have to do is just watch the screen for the first few minutes to understand there's a lot of talent involved with this movie both behind the camera and in front of it.  The pace might be a little slow for some viewers, but I think the gradual build up suits the story very well.  Yeah the ending is a little vague, but if you pay attention (especially to the subjects of the photographs at the end) I think you'll find a satisfying answer.  And that brings us to the acting...holy fook.  The kid who plays Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) was amazing!  His performance was so authentic that at times it almost felt like I was watching a documentary instead of a fictional movie.  The praises for young Ivan shouldn't subtract from the others actors though, the entire cast was incredible.  As impressive the acting and the story were though, the thing that I liked most was the photography.  THE RETURN is a beautiful film.  Turn your eyes away for just a moment and you might might miss a gorgeous shot.

As far as slower-paced, arthouse films go THE RETURN is sure to please its intended audience.  Recommended.