Welcome to the Bolshoi Ballet, Russia’s number-two export after the AK-47. That’s the bold opening to Bolshoi Babylon, which manages to mix bravery and banality in the following 80 minutes.
An access-all-areas pass behind the scenes of the company “reveals” the professional jealousy and revenge which plagues the magic on stage, centering on the appalling acid attack in 2013 and the subsequent fallout.
As the dancers and managers say that the show must go on, the film goes on and on. Having made its point quickly, Bolshoi Babylon drags and struggles to fill its slim running time.
If Black Swan became a documentary and was stripped of pace and coherence, Bolshoi Babylon would be the result. A serious case of style over substance and opulence over observation.
CAST: Vladimir Urin, Sergei Filin, Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash, Anatoliy Iksanov, Anastasiya Meskova
DIRECTORS: Nick Read, Mark Franchetti
SYNOPSIS: A behind-the-scenes look at Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Theatre as it’s rocked by an acid-attack scandal in 2013.
A preview screening of Bolshoi Babylon was kindly provided by Altitude Films and We Are Colony.