In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Dima Nikitin is an ordinary honest plumber who suddenly decides to face the corrupt system of local politics in order to save the lives of 800 inhabitants of an old dormitory, which is about to collapse.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
On the outskirts of a small coastal town in the Barents Sea, where whales sometimes come to its bay, lives an ordinary family: Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), his wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and their teenage son Romka. The family is haunted by a local corrupted mayor (Roman Madyanov), who is trying to take away the land, a house and a small auto repair shop from Kolya. To save their homes Kolya calls his old Army friend in Moscow (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who has now become an authoritative attorney. Together they decide to fight back and collect dirt on the mayor. Written by
"Leviathan" was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Because of this, I naturally had high expectations for this Russian movie. Sadly, it had a great set-up but the film just fizzled into nothing...
When the film begins, Kolya's life is a bit of a mess. The local crooked mayor, Vadim, has been fighting to take much of Kolya's property using the notion of eminent domain (an often abused government policy that takes land for public use and compensates the homeowner...with what the government thinks is a fair value for your property). However, Kolya's friend is a lawyer from Moscow and if they lose their appeal, he's going to try blackmailing the mayor into abandoning this venture. How? He has incriminating evidence about some of the mayor's illegal activities--MOB activities. Not necessarily a smart way to fight back, but this did set a nice stage for the film.
Unfortunately, following the lawyer's private meeting with the mayor, the film just went no where. The film claims to be inspired by the Book of Job. Horrible things happen again and again to Kolya--just like Job. HOWEVER, and this is important, in Job, eventually the horrible stuff ended and Job became prosperous once again. In this film, it just ended with Kolya going to prison and losing everything. What sort of finale is that?! And, between the lawyer meeting with the mayor and this awful ending, the film just limped along and was rather boring and directionless. Not an enjoyable viewing experience or one that seemed to have much meaning.
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