Film Review – Loveless (2017)

Title – Loveless (2017)

Director – Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return)

Cast – Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov

Plot – In the midst of a bitter relationship breakup, Zhenya (Spivak) and Boris (Rozin) discover that their young son Alyosha (Novikov) has gone missing, sending them on a quest to find out what has happened to their only child.

“I think I’ve made a terrible mistake”

Review by Eddie on 24/10/2018

I would not be surprised if you looked up the word bleak and saw a picture of Loveless there staring back at you for Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev Oscar nominated film about a bitter divorce that morphs into a missing child drama is wholeheartedly bleak and almost devoid of any signs of fun or frivolity.

Not to be watched on one of those days where the blues may’ve hit, Loveless’s commitment to its cause to showcase both the sometimes unseen fallouts of a relationship breakdown, the stress of having one of your children disappear and an examination of modern Russia should be commended, as we the viewer go along for this two hour journey that is finely attuned to its heart and soul.

For anyone that’s watched Zvyagintsev’s quietly devastating previous film’s such as the memorable Leviathan and the brilliant The Return, Loveless will feel like familiar territory for the filmmaker whose quickly becoming the go to director of  devastating family drama’s as we follow Maryana Spivak’s fiery Zhenya and Aleksey Rozin’s softly spoken Boris fighting each other, only to then find themselves fighting to uncover the whereabouts of their young son Alyosha who has disappeared in the midst of one of their bitter arguments.

Touching on Boris’s and Zhenya’s relationship and their new found love interests while this all takes place, Zvyagintsev’s slow moving camera and long-winded scenes linger as we get an insight into Russia’s religious landscape, social profiles and seemingly unending surrounds of coldness and bitterness that makes Loveless more than just your stereotypical experience.

With fine turns from its main cast members, Loveless is about as far removed from your typical Hollywood experience as your likely to get with none of the flash or show that would be found with a film of this ilk from the American machine, even if it’s not unlikely that this particular tale will find its way in some way, shape or form being remade for the mass market in the near future, with the narrative set-up ripe for Hollywood to put its spin on things, but as it stands, a film such as Loveless feels unique and powerful in a way we should be thankful for.

Final Say –

Slow moving and perhaps vague in some areas it should’ve explored more, Loveless is still a powerful and uncompromising drama that is also at times a nail biting thriller. Another fine feat from Zvyagintsev who has well and truly established himself as one of the most interesting and important voices of world cinema.

4 red jackets out of 5

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