The Return (2003)
8/10
Classy Russian psychodrama
12 September 2004
We get plenty of US/UK movies, a reasonable amount of European and oriental movies, but it is comparatively rare that we get a movie from Russia over here. Russian film-making has a very distinctive style and tradition, so good examples of it are a welcome change. Certainly The Return lives up to any expectations of good art-house. The Russian outback is noted for its harshness and it probably requires a particular type of character to survive and flourish there. This unusual coming-of-age movie looks at two brothers raised largely by their mother. When their father returns after 12 years and takes them on an extended fishing trip they react very differently. The father is authoritarian – a complete change for the boys from the protective mother. He is a complex figure – is he a pilot? A crook? Part of him seems to genuinely love the boys and want to help them toughen up for the world they will live in, but the trip has tragic consequences.
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