8.3/10
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1 user 37 critic

Loveless (2017)

Nelyubov (original title)
A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.

Director:

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Girlfriend
...
Boris (as Alexei Rozin)
...
Marina Vasilyeva ...
Masha
...
Alyosha
...
Dasha
Andris Keiss ...
Anton
Aleksey Fateev ...
Coordinator
Varvara Shmykova ...
Lena

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Storyline

A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

1 June 2017 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Loveless  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While the plot sets in late 2012, Sleepwalking by Bring Me The Horizon, that was released in 2013, plays in the car. See more »

Soundtracks

Silouans Song
Composed by Arvo Pärt
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User Reviews

 
A multi layered loveless story in a sociocultural context
27 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

Grey day on the outskirts, silence and naked trees covered with the snow, the boy goes back home from the school playing with a red and white safety striped flagging tape that he will throw up on the tree branches and where it will stay. This gesture starts the story of Alyosha and his parents Boris and Zhenya, a family in the middle of divorce process. The latest movie of Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev Loveless (Nelubov') is a drama film that will show us a multi layered and rich in its senses story.

At the very beginning of the film we witness a verbally brutal quarrel between the spouses in which each of them try to avoid to keep the son. Both have already new partners and look forward to finally get rid of all disturbing for their future happy life circumstances. While parents assume Alyosha is sleeping or, what is more likely, they don't care at all about if he can hear them, we see the boy hiding behind the door and silently bursting out in tears.

Here is one of two most emotional peaks of the film. The two traumatic and heartbreaking climaxes (the second one at the end of the film) both include the boy, and it could be supposed that his figure is not only the trigger of the story but also something more like a core of the ideas represented in the movie. Born in 2000, disappeared in 2012 (both dates are connected with elections in Russia), wearing the red jacket (the colour of love) on the search photo and leaving the blue one (the colour of devotion and honesty) as the only detail they found from him after his disappearance, the character of Alyosha frames and seems to embody the changing atmosphere in society. Significantly, red and blue colours turn at the end into the white-blue-red training suit of Zhenya while she running on treadmill at the balcony of her luxurious new flat. The caption 'Russia' decorates her sweatsuit and, without a doubt, highlights one of the most easy-to-grasp metaphors, that director wanted to present his vision with.

Andrei Zvyagintsev puts an emphasis on details, often symbolic ones, and use them as a tool to transmit his personal views and comments on society. Loveless is full of tiny codes that the viewer could decipher according to his experience as well as origin. Zvyagintsev skilfully plays with stereotypes of contemporaneity such as family, success, politics and the national identity, and it would be too narrow to connect it only with Russian society. Often rough and too straightforward, the director steady prosects the world of the characters in conjunction with the atmosphere they live in, but, first of all, according to director's opinion, despite the desire of the viewer to believe without a doubt in it all is very strong. The environment of characters is supported on the background with carefully chosen bits of authentic TV and radio programs that reflect the current political and sociocultural state, the accidental small talks of other heroes in the movies work the same way.

In Loveless the viewer sometimes could find him-/herself wondering that the heroes and their reality are often binary. The ordinary conflict of a man and a woman, the desire to be happy and the unhappy reality, the stagnating bureaucracy of the police and prompt response of the volunteers searching for Alyosha, almost no shades in between. The end of the movie eliminates even this scarce diversity, bringing the director's relentless conclusion about contemporary human soul to its totality. Common knowledge, that at its best could be characterised by Leo Tolstoy phrase that 'happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way' in this movie doesn't work. In their new 'happy' families Boris and Zhenya are equally lost, apathetic and even speechless. Seems that the loveless goes on and one can wonder if it was ever different.


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