This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
A story of two Russian boys whose father suddenly returns home after a 12-year absence. He takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.
Letterboxd Festival 8
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s The Return is an enigmatic coming-of-age drama about two brothers and the return of their estranged father. Absent for 12-years, the father is little more than a stranger but the brothers have very different reactions to his unexpected reappearance. Whereas the eldest welcomes his new role model, wanting to please and be just like him, the youngest brother is mistrusting and resentful both of his absence and his questionable style of parenting.
Shot in cool blues and greys, the film is oppressive yet beautiful. The stillness of the camera allows you to take in every detail whilst the deliberate pacing heightens the film’s palpable tension and sense of impending doom. The relationship between the trio…
This was probably one of my most anticipated watches. In a very short span of time, director Andrey Zvyagintsev has gone from being unknown to me, to becoming one of my favourite directors; an auteur rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kubrick and Malick. This is pretty amazing considering I’ve only seen two of his films. I’m happy to say that The Return, a favourite of many of my LB friends, only further cements that position.
What I appreciate about Zvyagintsev the most is his deft skill at subtly weaving context into his very straight forward, and narratively economical, stories. Rarely is the symbolism worn on its sleeve, but rather quietly hinted it; so quietly in some cases that you’re…
Why I watched this one? I get a lot of movies from my local libraries...I have no memory of why I picked out this one....I must be getting old.
What is this one about? From IMDb....In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father - a man they know only through a single photograph - resurfaces.
My thoughts on this one? Wow I am in the minority here as I see The Return has an IMDb rating of 8.0...which is pretty high on that site....and way higher than I would rate it. Maybe I am too slow to pick up on the hidden meanings in this one. To me this was a slow…
''If you weren't so evil, I could love you like a father!''
A 'return' as such for this viewer to a modern Russian classic that needed a fresh perspective in light of my recent Tarkovsky explorations (the film is often referred as a gentle nod to the revered auteur), to see if I could get a better handle on it's possible allegorical and symbolic make-up. While the film can be read as a simple tale of 'the return' of a long absent and mysterious father figure who activates a psychological change in his two sons at a critical age in their development, Andrei Zviagintsev himself (in interviews) has alluded to a richer journey if Russian folklore and Christian mythology are…
The Return has been quoted by many as a haunting film and more intelligently deemed Kafkaesque by Roger Ebert but no where have I seen any stab at interpreting this mammoth beast. It's quite possible that director Andrey Zvyagintsev had no intended hidden meaning behind the mystery presented and it was the experience of the film that matters. I can certainly agree with that but the entire time watching I strongly felt that this ominous and prodigal father figure had to represent something larger than himself as his two sons equally embody the victims of this oppressive force. Perhaps if I had a more of a back knowledge in Russian history or even on the director's thoughts and ideas of…
I watched The Return in anticipation of director Andrey Zvyagintsev's newest film Leviathan. If it's as good as this one, I know I'm in for a real treat. The Return tells a story about two young brothers on a road trip with their estranged father, who suddenly returned after 12 years.
Konstantin Lavronenko is amazing as the father, a strict man with a mysterious past. The two young actors are also incredible, Ivan Dobronravov as the younger and Vladimir Garin as the older brother. The film does a brilliant job at showing the love and brotherly rivalry between the brothers, but especially the disdain they both have for their father after his unannounced return. They are confused, not knowing where…
Aside from its religious and political interpretations, what truly resonates with me is the failure of connecting with the next generation of feminised males that ultimately brings the death of a strong paternal authority.
Might consider it the most cathartic visual text for members of broken families.
I have clearly been missing out on Andrey Zvyagintsev's films. His latest film, Leviathan, was my introduction to his work (which I loved), so I thought I would start at the beginning with his first film The Return. It's clear Zvyagintsev knows how to portray complicated family relationships, and this film shows a very interesting dynamic with the father of two boys returning home after being absent for 12 years. Together, the father and his sons go on a short trip, and while the older boy (Andrei) is willing to go along with everything, the younger one (Vanya) is not exactly happy about the situation. You can definitely take this film literally but it can also be seen as a metaphor in its entirety, and though there is plenty of symbolism the director never beats the viewers over the head with it. Definitely a film to watch more than once and discover more layers to it.
Unclear how this reads as a morality tale or a political allegory. Either way, there is excellent composition and focus of so many shots here. The stark and beautiful landscapes at dawn tell a story of their own.
Best russian film in XXI Century.
A religious parable of what it means to be a man.
dismal, cold, masculinity, peak Russian Modernism
The Return (2003, Vozvrashchenie) is a story of children dreaming of their long lost father who suddenly appears before them... or does he? We don't know what does he want, but he takes his two sons on a trip. But does he really want to bond with them or there is something else at stake?
Most impressive is the performance of Ivan Dobronravov who playes a younger brother Ivan. The cinematography is great, albeit a little bit too much leaning towards Tarkovskian camera work. Just pay attention to the final sequence when the camera retreats towards the woods and you will know what am I talking about (if you remember Mirror.
Nevertheless, The Return is an impressive debut film by Andrey Zvyagintsev with the strong and compelling story of a traumatic experience and troublesome childhood without a father.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…