Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
Two teenage Russian boys have their father return home suddenly after being absent for 12 years. The father takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake in the north of Russia that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
When pre-production was starting, director Andrey Zvyagintsev told producer Dmitriy Lesnevskiy there was no point in making the film if they couldn't find two boys who were 'actors of genius'. Zvyagintsev had two assistants who helped him look for actors, one in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow. Zvyagintsev visited both cities. He found Vladimir Garin in St. Petersburg and Ivan Dobronravov in Moscow, picking them from over 600 contenders. See more »
On the island, Ivan bandages his hand after it gets injured. In the next shot, the bandage is on his other hand. See more »
[on-screen caption: Sunday]
[boy falls in the water, then floats up]
Jump as we agreed! Who climbs down the ladder is a cowardly wanker.
[swims to the shore]
Boy on Tower:
Go on, Vityok. You're next.
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During the end credits, there are still photos. See more »
We get plenty of US/UK movies, a reasonable amount of European and oriental movies, but it is comparatively rare that we get a movie from Russia over here. Russian film-making has a very distinctive style and tradition, so good examples of it are a welcome change. Certainly The Return lives up to any expectations of good art-house. The Russian outback is noted for its harshness and it probably requires a particular type of character to survive and flourish there. This unusual coming-of-age movie looks at two brothers raised largely by their mother. When their father returns after 12 years and takes them on an extended fishing trip they react very differently. The father is authoritarian a complete change for the boys from the protective mother. He is a complex figure is he a pilot? A crook? Part of him seems to genuinely love the boys and want to help them toughen up for the world they will live in, but the trip has tragic consequences.
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