"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

The Return (2003) (Russia) (Movies To See Before You Die - World Cinema / Suspense)

29 Oct, 2012 | Movies To See Before You Die / World Cinema

In our part of the world where Cinema is merely taken as a means of entertainment before or after dinner, its really sad that majority of our viewers are not into experiencing & appreciating such beautiful & well crafted films made on tender human relationships, which in fact remain the same in every part of the world unanimously. The fathers always have the same kind of conflicts with their growing kids in every region and the mothers always love their children unconditionally whether its East, West, South or North of this big, round, beautiful globe.

And that’s the basic essence of this rather lesser known gem called THE RETURN (2003) coming from RUSSIA with an exceptional direction, out of the world cinematography and three lifetime performances from its lead actors of 3 different age groups. The film revolves around a transforming week in the life of two young kids who suddenly witness their own father returning back home, after 12 long years of his undisclosed exile. The kids have no idea of how to react to this new unexpected situation and the parents are equally not interested in explaining them anything in details.
Now though this classic doesn’t care to give you any clear reasons behind all the major sequences in its script as per the set routine, but even then it remains hugely impactful and emotionally moving with a spellbinding climax capable of turning the viewer into a stone. Hence at one end, its non-explanatory narration may turn out to be quite meaningless for few viewers who are not used to such kind of treatment of any delicate subject. But on the other, if you really wish to experience a never before kind of scenic beauty captured on the screen along with few enigmatic, powerful performances coming straight out of real life, then do make an effort to watch THE RETURN as a must and enjoy its splendor. The film creates such an aura in the end that you simply forget all the questions travelling in your mind about its various incidents and become calm as the silent water running on its own towards an unknown direction. And that remains the basic beauty of this classic which differentiates itself from any other similar project made on the subject ever before.
It is one of those films which you wish to watch on the big screen with excellent sound effects reaching you from all the directions. The beautiful landscapes, lakes, forests and heaven like nature’s beauty captured by the camera in an unbelievable manner keeps haunting you for days after you have watched it. The film’s basic storyline with several hidden, undisclosed layers gives you lots to think and imagine as per your own creative abilities and its perfectly chosen cast, particularly the child actors (especially the younger one) refuse to fade away from your memory till days.

In short it is a kind of lifetime achievement by the director Andrei Zvyagintsev, as you cannot make such kind of films more often. In fact you can never make such kind of poetic expressions consciously by putting any kind of efforts whatsoever. Further talking about the vision and conviction the director had in mind about his film, I would like to add that before starting the project he clearly informed his producers that there is no point in making the film, if we cannot find those two boys who are ‘actors of genius’. And he made it only when he successfully found his two boys out of more than 600 contenders brought in, result of which is loudly evident on the screen to be experienced at the earliest.
So if the above description excites you enough and you seriously wish to go on an unexplained voyage of human emotions then do watch THE RETURN as a must and don’t ever miss it.
Directed By Andrei Zvyagintsev
Writers : Vladimir Moiseenko, Aleksandr Novototskiy-Vlasov
Starring : Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov and Konstantin Lavronenko

Tags : The Return Russian Classic, The Return (2003), Not To Be Missed Movies List By Bobby Sing, Movies To See Before You Die by Bobby Sing, Must See Movies List at bobbytalkscinema.com
29 Oct 2012 / Comment ( 2 )
Ashok Sridharan

There is one minor detail that could easily be missed by non-Russians: the father returns after 12 years in a movie released in 2003, which means he went missing in 1991- the year in which the Soviet Union collapsed. At a deeper level, one could take it as a message to Russians that the Soviet Union was past and it was time to move on. 

Admittedly, that is purely my interpretation, but that is a common feature in Russian novels where the real meat is in what's left unsaid.

Bobby Sing

Dear Ashok Sridharan,
Thanks a lot for adding your valuable viewpoint to the write-up.
That indeed makes me think differently about the father's return.
Keep Visiting and Writing in.

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