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TIFF Review: Loveless – “The imagery is poetic”

An acrimonious divorce results in the young son becoming collateral damage.

Love is lacking for Alyosha as his parents treat him as unwanted baggage as they try to start their lives afresh with new partners.  The parental self-absorption is shattered when the 12-year-old boy goes missing and a search party goes looking for him.

Watching Loveless it is hard to not to realize the command filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev has of the craft of cinema.  The imagery is poetic and the transitions between scenes are seamless.  Time is taken with all of the characters with their stories being interwoven with one another.  The performances are believable with Matvey Novikov heartbreaking as Alyosha while Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin play the parts well of the parents who are too lost in their own hatred of each other to care about anyone but themselves.

If there is a weakness it would be the need to overtly weave political themes and commentary into the narrative whether it be the radio and television broadcasts or the appearance of a Russian tracksuit.  I suppose Aleksey Rozin equates the parents with the coldness of the country and its people being the neglected children.  The title truly reflects the tone of the movie which finds beauty in the prevailing bleakness and a provides an unflinching portrayal of a society that has become self-absorbed.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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