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> Leviathan, The Russian entry for the "Best Foreign Language Film" 2015
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post Apr 29 2015, 02:45 PM
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BuzzJack Gold Member
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"Leviathan" was released in my country's cinemas two months ago. It was originally screened at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it received very good reviews and won the award for "Best Screenplay". Then, it became the official Russian proposal for an Academy Award and was selected to be one of the five films in the category "Best Foreign Language Film" but lost the Golden Statuette to "Ida". Furthermore, it was suggested by the British Film Academy for "Best Foreign Language Film" and it was the big winner in the respective category of the Golden Globes! All these great distinctions that were awarded to "Leviathan", intrigued us to go and see it on the big screen. Having seen the official trailer several months ago, we were convinced that its content would be good enough.
"Leviathan" had several references from the Bible, like the main character of the film named Kolya, who represent Job. The word "Leviathan" in Hebrew means "sea monster" and it is no coincidence that in several scenes of the movie, it was dominated by the carcass of a whale. The film's director Andrey Zvyagintsev wrote the script along with Oleg Negin. Basically, they wanted to emphasize with this particular story, the corruption that exists in today's Russia. Rich people and elected officials have an unfair advantage in court, as they use their power for their personal interests in contrast to the poor and weaker left to the mercy of their fate. In this case the protagonist of the film is confronted by the mayor, who wants to take away Kolya's land and build a mansion. Certainly, Kolya does not accept the proposal of the local lord and from there begins an unequal struggle between them. In his effort to face the insistence of the mayor, Kolya will have the support of his wife and his best friend who is a lawyer and lives in Moscow. The latter will play a catalytic role in the upcoming life of Kolya. "Leviathan" had pretty good directing but the dreary and depressive shots, perhaps tired the viewers. Also in the second half of the film, the rhythm fell somewhat and the atmosphere was a bit stuffy in the movie theater. However, the interpretations of the actors were good enough and it had interesting scenario while we saw the attitude of Russians in their country. Further to say, that they drank vodka as we drink bottled water in the summer. Also, it had a very good photography and remarkable soundtrack.
I would not tell you that "Leviathan" was one of the best foreign language films I saw in recent months. However, it was a movie with a lot of symbolism and the writers wanted to spread a lot of messages with this tragic story. So, I guess that it was the main reason which it was appreciated by the connoisseurs of cinematic space. It has also received a high average score in IMDb (7.8), showing that viewers liked what they saw. In my opinion, I found it quite good but not as good so that it was proposed by the three renowned institutions like the Golden Globes, the Baftas and the Oscars.

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