||Cinema - The Return
A father returns home to his wife and two sons
after a twelve-year absence. Nobody knows why he went, nobody
knows why he has come back. The very next day he takes his kids
on a fishing trip. The tension rises as the three of them are
forced into roles they are not used to, with tragic repercussions.
The Return is a Russian film first-time directed by
Andrey Zvyagintsev, which ran away with the blue-riband prize
in the art-house Oscars, the Venice Film Festival, in 2003.
It works on several levels. The plot is compelling. The acting
is convincing. The photography is stunningly shot. It has great
emotional depth. After it has finished, you realise that it
probably has allegorical meaning, too.
The main tension lies in the relationship between father and
sons. The sons have accepted fatherlessness as a given, and
they react to his return in different ways. The older one responds
well, eager for love; the younger one becomes surly and disrespectful.
He wonders about his father’s motives. Why did he come
back? What is the real reason for the trip? You wonder about
the same things, too. After the film is over, you also wonder
whether the allegory is religious (the return of Christ) or
political (the return of totalitarianism). Perhaps it is meant
to be both at the same time. DL
Daddy’s home: and there are
problems for the kids in The Return