Elena (2011)

Elena (2011)

Not Rated

kanopy

itunes

7.6

Movie

Brazil, Russia
Russian
Drama, Thriller
2011
ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV
Aleksandr Kazakov, Aleksandr Slastin, Aleksey Maslodudov
109 min

What it's about

Elena is a woman of a certain age, living in a chic Moscow apartment with her wealthy businessman husband Vladimir. While Vladimir is estranged from his daughter, he does not mask his contempt for Elena's own child, who seems to be in constant need of financial assistance. When Vladimir suddenly falls ill and his volatile, nihilistic daughter comes back into the picture, Elena must hatch a plan for her own survival.

The take

Realistic, intimate, and compelling, Elena is a movie that makes you think a lot after you finish watching it. It is an inherently Russian movie, however there is something about how the story is told that makes it a universal family drama. A woman from a modest background to which she still has a lot of attachement is married to an old wealthy business man. Upon learning that the man might write her off his will, she feels pushed to get her hands dirty to honor her responsibilities towards her original family. The question of right and wrong when faced with extreme situations is at the heart of this aesthetically slow-burning family drama.

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