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Bishops Castle Film Society

Loveless - 24 Oct 2018

dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev. Russia. 2017. 127m

Andrey Zvyagingintsev’s ‘Loveless’ is a stark, mysterious and terrifying story of spiritual catastrophe: a drama with the ostensible form of a procedural crime thriller. It has a hypnotic intensity and unbearable ambiguity which is maintained until the very end. This is a story of modern Russia whose people are at the mercy of implacable forces: a loveless world, like a planet without the full means to support human life.


A place where the ordinary need for survival has mutated, or upgraded into an unending, aspirational demand for status, money and freedom to find an advantageous second marriage, which brings a nice apartment, sex, luxury and the social media prerogative of selfies and self-affirmation. But all of it is underpinned, or overseen, by intensely conservative social norms of Christianity, conformism and nationalism. ‘Loveless is initially the portrait of a failed marriage in its awful, final stages. Boris, (Alexei Rozin) is a burly, bearded man with a look of a young Fidel Castro who works in sales. He still shares the family apartment with his soon-to-be ex-wife, Zhenya, (Maryana Spevak). They quarrel endlessly, united only in their mutual loathing; each has found a new partner and are both in the first flush of love and sexual infatuation of the existing encumbrance. But there is the matter of their son, Alosha, (Matvey Novikov), a shy and unhappy 12 year old boy who is the basic cause or symptom of their relationship’s collapse. They got married soon after an unexpected pregnancy.

‘Russian director, Andrey Zvyagintsev has produced another masterpiece in this apocalyptic study of a failed marriage and the subsequent disappearance of a child.’ (The Guardian).



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