Leviathan

Leviathan

(Leviafan)
(2014)

A black comedy and political satire, a modern day retelling of the Biblical story of Job set in contemporary Russia, from director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena). One of the best-reviewed films of Cannes 2014, dubbed a new masterpiece by many, and winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Golden Globes.... More

"Kolia lives in a small town near the Barents Sea, in North Russia. He has his own auto-repair shop. His shop stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya and his son from a previous marriage Romka. Vadim Sergeyich, the Mayor of the town, wants to take away his business, his house and his land. First he tries buying off Kolia but Kolia isn’t interested in money, he doesn’t want to lose everything he has: not only the land, but also all the beauty that has surrounded him from the day of his birth. As Vadim Sergeyich starts being more aggressive, Kolia asks his best friend Dmitri, a lawyer from Moscow, to help him, unaware that this would change his life forever." (Cannes Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

The title may refer to philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ classic tome concerning the structure of society and legitimate government (don’t be too impressed, I had to look that up), or maybe it’s the big whale of the Old Testament. It’s possible to read the whole thing as a loose modern retelling of the Biblical tale of Job, only here we have a man enduring state, rather than heavenly, intervention.... More

Set in a small Russian fishing community, naturalistic acting and multiple everyman characters combine with corrupt politicians, dodgy priests and wily lawyers, in a complex and gripping tale of the little guy up against the machinery of a system too massive and unwieldy to care.

The acting is top notch, with Alexey Serebriakov excellent as Kolia, a working stiff whose prime real estate is coveted by a crooked Mayor, played with villainous relish by Roman Madyanov. Coupled with Andrey Zvyagintsev’s assured direction, a scintillating Philip Glass score and Mikhail Krichman’s stunning cinematography, Leviathan is a tale far exceeding the sum of its parts.

It’s a political satire, a dazzling metaphor, an epic movie of the everyday - involving, uplifting, shocking, intellectually and emotionally stimulating. Yes, okay, it could be faulted for taking itself too seriously, or for simplifying its message, but that would be to miss the point. Leviathan is grand tragedy on an operatic scale, and, whilst it isn’t subtle, it is superbly rewarding cinema.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY Gaspardation superstar

The golden lion winner Andrey Zvyagintsev gives us yet another masterpiece centering on the ordinary lives of contemporary Russia Federation. The symbol Leviathan is more than just figurative. It's the lord of the dark ocean consuming the sacrafice of mankind. The unseen bloodiness makes the movie unbearably heavy.


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The Press Reviews

99% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Zvyagintsev's latest is a very strong contender for the Palme d'Or – a mix of Hobbes, Chekhov and the Bible, and full of extraordinary images and magnificent symmetry Full Review

  • At age 50, Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev delivers a stunning, surprisingly funny satire that dares to question whether his homeland is servings its citizens' best interests. Full Review

  • A thinly-veiled political parable drenched in bitter irony that takes aim against the corrupt, corrosive regime of Vladimir Putin. Full Review

  • This provocative masterpiece’s broader themes speak to the power of the ripple effect. Full Review

  • Frustrating, funny at points, heartbreaking and quite magnificently shot throughout, Leviathan is one of the films of the year. Full Review

  • Feels like a brave, lonely act of rebellion against the system, deeply pessimistic about the possibility of it ever working in the people’s favor. Full Review

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