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…
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…
March Around the World - Stop 16: Russia
A movie that for the first hour and 15 minutes seems like a brilliantly made, atmospheric, mildly haunting and fairly beautiful film, though not one that is able to really set itself apart. But then the last 20 or so minutes cause you to completely rethink the entire film you've just seen, perhaps to contemplate certain moments in your own life. Blew me away in ways that I didn't expect at all. I don't think it's possible for Zvyagintsev to have handled this film any better. Leviathan comes out next week here, and I couldn't be more excited.
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…
A slow moving film that is about two brothers dealing with their father coming back into their lives after years of being gone but why has he come back? Has he come back to only use them for his own personal gain? Their father loved them but he comes from the old school method of parenting and the youngest doesn't like that so things are set into motion. The film beautifully captures the landscape of the river and the lush scenery. I've seen this film mentioned a few times on this site and it deserves more attention.
Usually, a first artwork is the autopsy of the artist's ability and ambition with his creativity. This applies overmuch to Andrey Zvyagintsev. "The return" indicates a crystal clear artistic direction and talent. This is a cinematic work of art.
I really appreciate directors who show confidence in his/hers audience. Like handing over a piece of the storytelling. Aswell as a major portion of the interpretation. As I recently worked with the prodigal son-theme, I chose that frame story for "The return".
Among other things, this film project tells us the importance of being conscientious in the choice of actors. Konstantin Lavronenko for example. Or the two boys for that matter.
And that Russian cinema belongs to a contrasting cosmos. It is impossible to look the other way. If you try you will be hit by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
A heady film that boggled my mind. An art house thriller of the metaphysical and the existential, that wrestles with a number of things, not the least of which is the relationship of father and son. I could see shades of the master Tarkovsky, another russian, but The Return is much darker than his work but still affecting.
It's pretty engaging until like, you know, it's not. It's an incredibly entertaining film for an arthouse piece, I'll give it that, but it's ultimately not incredibly memorable.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's haunting debut is many things: a dissection of the role of masculinity in modern Russia, a family drama of two children who struggle to connect with a distant father, and a coming-of-age story. Much as in his superb Elena, Zvyagintsev reveals a light touch that allows these themes to emerge naturally from his material. Take, for instance, a family scene shortly after Andrei and Ivan's father - twelve years absent from their lives - returns without explanation. The children, their mother, and grandmother sit down at the table. The food is already in place, but they do not eat until the father ambles in to take his place at the head of the table. He pours himself a…
Be grateful for second chances. They are rare.
I had to watch The Return in three parts (kept watching it at the wrong times) and while I initially found it to be a little slow, I ended up really loving it. Mysterious, contemplative, gorgeous, and melancholic--The Return focuses on two brothers who go on a fishing trip with their father whom they haven't seen in 12 years.
An illusive figure, the father never offers any explanation for his disappearance from their lives, is impulsive in his actions and decisions, and treats the two boys harshly. Ivan, the younger brother, is cautious, stubborn, and fearful. The first scene of the film shows him being pressured to jump from a diving post…
A mythical, delicately powerful film with great performances and nice imagery.
Not quite everything added up for me.... To me, it's missing a traditional story arc which I think could have helped, but I have no doubt "The Return" will grow on me nicely over time. It has already.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
2015 Movie Project | #1
The Russian title of The Return is Возвращение which can also translate to "reappearance". I bring that up because it is a much better title for the movie. In my mind, a return implies coming from somewhere identifiable, somewhere important, and the action of returning itself is more significant. In this case, the father simply appears to the surprise (dismay?) of everyone involved. It's seemingly irrelevant where he came back from or why he's here. He just did and is.
There's no doubt that Andrey Zvyagintsev has an eye for capturing the beauty of Russian landscapes even while his characters are not on the up and up. Since this is a movie told from the…
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
What are the great directorial debuts?
To be clear, I am talking about feature debuts - they may have worked…