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Leviathan (2014)

Leviafan (original title)
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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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mer
Anna Ukolova ...
Anzhela
...
Pasha
Sergey Pokhodaev ...
Romka
Platon Kamenev ...
Vitya
Sergey Bachurskiy ...
Stepanych
Valeriy Grishko ...
Arkhierey
Alla Emintseva ...
Sudya
Margarita Shubina ...
Prokuror
Dmitriy Bykovskiy-Romashov ...
Nachalnik politsii (as Dmitriy Bykovskiy)
Sergey Borisov ...
Operativnik
Igor Savochkin ...
Sledovatel
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Storyline

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 iggy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality/graphic nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 February 2015 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Leviathan  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Aleksey Serebryakov, his wife persuaded him to star. See more »

Quotes

Dmitriy Seleznyov: No-one is out of reach.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 87th Annual Academy Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Akhnaten -Act 1 - Prelude: Refrain, Verse 1, Verse 2
Written by Philip Glass
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User Reviews

 
Modern struggles
9 January 2015 | by (Slovenia) – See all my reviews

First and foremost, I find it hard to agree with the opinion of those who think this film is depressing. It's rather a good representation of a specific age and its problems; it's the old story of Job reworked to fit the modern age - and it's reworked in a way that questions everything and never settles for a final opinion. In its way of questioning about the most basic of human needs, Leviathan is (because of its dark undertones) some kind of a meditation on the meaning of human relations, institutions and faith in the confusion of modern, informational-based society.

Myths include times of darkness as well as those of light. In order for one to reach the light, one must go through darkness first. Thanks to directors like Zvyagintsev, every now and then we are brought perfect darkness on a silver plate. Just to remind us that there is not only light and that our obtained knowledge is more of a habitual knowledge and that there are actually other, deeper ways to comprehend the world around us.

Leviathan was first mentioned in the book of Job in the old testament. In it, Leviathan is a creature, which only God can tame, and tame it he shall, just to prove to Job that he is the only one that's able to do it. That's to say, God is above all human beings, because human beings should never be allowed perfect freedom; for they will not know how to use it and end up hurting each other.

It's the dark side of human nature that gets engaged when one doesn't know how to use all the freedom that's given to him. Too much freedom, pretty paradoxically, ends up meaning too little freedom if we are not mature enough to understand it through rationalization or art. If that is the case, we start connecting freedom to infinite possibilities, but infinite possibilities mean a priori that we will never be able to achieve them all. In that, we feel alone, hopeless, and, to grasp freedom momentarily, we are even willing to hurt others. Soon we see the same behavioral patterns in others and in a blink of an eye that kind of behavior becomes normal, a notion around which we construct our lives. Usually we don't notice these patterns until we are face-to-face with their consequences - especially the life- threatening ones.

Even if we have been mistreated and have mistreated others ourselves, we keep on walking in the same circles, kind of hoping that we can walk the next one in a shorter period of time. Hoping that something will just get solved by itself and then we will be able to live again, without all of the garbage that has slowly been growing in us. But it sadly doesn't function like that - in order to get rid of the garbage, we have to take it out; we have to make an effort, a sacrifice. Something Tarkovsky, of whom traces we can see in Zvyagintsev's filmmaking, mentioned a lot in his films, especially in his last one (Offret/The sacrifice).

Sadly enough, none of the characters in this film is able to make that sacrifice, none of them is able to step out of the wicked wheel that inevitably - from the first scene on - leads to tragedy. Despite the movie's apparent dark tone, there are some humorous and upbeat scenes, that provoke laugh and cast some light on the positive traits of these characters, that are otherwise caught in their own past, in their mistakes and fears.

Leviathan, (which is founded upon the book of Job of the Old testament; Thomas Hobbes' book of the same title and a true, 21st century story of an American, struggling with authorities) is a wake-up call. It is not desperate or preaching in demeanor, it is however something we are not very used to - seeing things from a different perspective.

The final scene completely blew me away because it reminded me of being caught in a heavy storm while surfing on Spanish coast a couple of months prior to seeing the film. The first time in my life I was helpless and I realized that I am not such a tough guy, that I don't behold all the answers. But what is there that beholds all the answers? Is there even such a thing? They used to believe in monsters, in religions, in systems... As children, we believed in all kinds of things. But what, if anything, should we believe now, in an information age, when we have so much information to work with; when we learned to tell apart a myth from reality?


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