Leviathan Review

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A blue-collar man (Serebryakov) has a home that stands proudly on Russia's Barents Sea coastline, a monument to a life of hard work and toil. But corrupt local politico (Madyanov) wants it for himself.


Until a Job biopic is greenlit — next Thursday, at the current rate of Bible adaptations — Andrey Zvyagintsev’s modern parable of a working man crushed beneath the wheels of the Russian state is a spellbinding alternative. As in his haunting debut, The Return, long takes languidly capture the solemn beauty of the Russian landscape, but it’s the slow crumpling of protagonist Nikolai (Aleksey Serebryakov), as church, government and judiciary gang up to rob him of his most prized possession, that will leave a longer, angrier impression. Not appearing on Putin’s DVD shelf anytime soon.

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