Zvyagintsev’s direction builds small character moments into a powerful story of corruption, betrayal and despair. This is Russia, and it’s not pretty.
Farcical comedy clashes with the downtrodden hopes of an ordinary family and the result is darkly humorous and sickening.
Serebryakov’s lead performance as Nikolai is muted and full of empathy with a strong supporting cast bringing a sharp slice of social realism.
Leviathan starts slowly and you can occasionally feel its hefty running time but after the raucous and game-changing drunken barbecue, secrets are exposed and the drama becomes engrossing.
Zvyagintsev builds high drama out of knowing when to show a lot and when to show a little. This is an epic tragedy with the scope and emotional depth of Shakespeare or Dostoyevsky.
CAST: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Lesya Kudryashova
DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev
WRITER: Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin
SYNOPSIS: On the outskirts of a small coastal town in the Barents Sea, lives an ordinary family: Nikolai, his wife Lilya and their teenage son Romka. The family is haunted by a local corrupted mayor and when Nikolai calls an old friend for legal help he changes everything for the family.