Putin's visage hangs conspicuously over the desk of Vadim, the thuggish, venal mayor of a Russian village, who wants to repossess hard-working dimwit Kolya's land. Kolya enlists an urbane Moscow lawyer to blackmail the mayor into raising the price. The title evokes Thomas Hobbes' treatise on the social contract, but the Book of Job is the real narrative fulcrum. During Kolya's fight with city hall, an infidelity rips apart his already frayed family, giving his opponents political ammunition. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev's storytelling is needlessly inscrutable at times, with key events happening abruptly or off-screen. There are few sympathetic figures among this morose, greedy lot, but they can be viewed as victims of circumstance. The film draws connections between Russia's communist past and politically corrupt present.
Official Site: sonyclassics.com/leviathan
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Writer: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Producer: Alexandre Rodnianski and Serguei Melkoumov
Cast: Alexei Serebriakov, Elena Liadova, Vladimir Vdovitchenkov, Roman Madianov, Anna Oukolova, Alexei Rozine and Serguei Pokhodaev
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