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…
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.
This Russian film will do nothing to dispel the popular notion that the Soviets are a grim people. Very grim. But an outstanding movie! It might have been titled "Fathers and Sons II." Andrei and Ivan are the two brothers whose father unexpectedly shows up after a 12-year absence, never explained. He seems to want to make up for lost time in teaching them some lessons in manhood - and how! This farcical description does not do the movie justice - it was taut, suspenseful, gripping - the child actors were wonderful. No spoiler here - what was in the box? Also never explained, unless I missed it?
Slow and light on action, but at the same time captivating. Finale is earned and surprising. Epilogue draws on a little too long.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's eerste langspeler, "Vozvrashchenie", is een speciaal filmpje. Zowel het verhaal, als het beeld, als de score, als het acteerwerk, vormen samen een uniek stuk cinema. Het is een film waarover je een aantal dagen na kijken, nog steeds over nadenkt. Net als bij zijn tweede film "Izgnanie", zijn emoties en stilte het belangrijkste om het verhaal verteld te krijgen, wat vrij ongebruikelijk is in de wereld van cinema. Meeste films leggen liever uit wat er zich afspeelt door het er dubbel en dik in de dialogen op te leggen. Zvyagintsev verkiest om het op een andere en betere manier te doen. De beelden spreken boekdelen.
Het verhaal is simpel. Een vader komt na 12 jaar te zijn weggeweest…
The Return is my second dive into Andrey Zvyagintsev (the first being last years Leviathan). Though the movies share a certain overcast look to them, they play out in extremely different manners.
The Return follows the story of two young brothers Ivan and Andrei whose life is upended by the sudden return of their estranged father after some 12 year absence. He half takes, half kidnaps his two boys for a fishing trip that winds up being a lot more than anyone involved bargained for. Tension arises quickly from the different roles the two boys take. Andrei couldn't be more excited to be reunited with his father. He is constantly quick to do whatever his father ask. On the other…
*You can jump another time.*
Andrey Zvyagintsev's (Zvee-ah-gint-sev) 'Возвращение' is the story of two brothers time together with their estranged father. Soft natured boys raised by their mother and grandmother are juxtaposed with a cold and iron fisted father whom they go on a fishing trip with.
Hues of blues are the primary colour palette for the typical bleakness that comes with any Russian setting, but doubles up to accentuate the father's demeanour. Not that you won't find greens as the film occasionally plays in Tarkovsky territory, while the family is out in the Russian Wilderness.
Dynamism of brotherhood is the highlight of the film, with strong performances from both kids portraying the dichotomously loving but cruel nature of young boys.
A remarkable film.
A quietly powerful film, and one that needs to sink in, particularly given the rather perplexing (but nevertheless somehow effective) ending. For a while I felt irritated by the Father's obviously unreasonable, unexplained behaviour but I found that this became less and less of a problem as the film went on, and the beauty of what Zvyagintsev was shooting and the wonderful realism that the trio of central actors - especially the two children - brought to their roles took hold. I loved the moments that Zvyagintsev took the music out, such as the long shot of the truck moving along the horizon - great uses of silence. Beautiful cinematography, too.
I'm not sure it's quite up there with Leviathan or Elena, but it's not far short and is an amazing debut film. Three for three for Z with me.
4.0/5.0 = Amazing
The Return is a towering achievement in subtlety, telling us a fundamentally simplistic coming-of-age story through visual motifs. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev captures his two young leads with such finesse, their emotions almost become palpable, emanating a whirlwind of emotions from the screen.
The opening scene establishes a fascinating character dynamic between the two brothers, Andrey and Ivan. Although Andrey proves a more instant courage in the opening minutes, Ivan later represents a more level-headed bravery that his naive brother lacks.
The greatest accomplishment in the writing of these characters is that nothing is ever black and white. One brother is not always smarter, braver, stronger or more aware than the other. The characters feel like people, telling…
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…