The Return (2003 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrey Zvyagintsev|
|Produced by||Yelena Kovalyova
|Written by||Vladimir Moiseyenko
|Music by||Andrei Dergatchev|
|Distributed by||Kino International (US)|
|Running time||105 minutes|
It tells the story of two Russian boys whose father suddenly returns home after a 12-year absence. He takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
In contemporary Russia, young brothers Ivan (the younger one) and Andrei have grown a deep attachment to each other to make up for their fatherless childhood. Both their mother and grandmother live with them. After running home after a fight with each other, the boys are shocked to discover their father has returned after a 12-year absence. With their mother's uneasy blessing, Ivan and Andrei set out on what they believe will be a simple fishing vacation with him.
Andrei is delighted to be reunited with the father whereas Ivan is full of reservation towards the man whom they only know from a faded photograph.
At first both brothers are pleased with the prospect of an exciting journey, but they soon strain under the weight of their dad's awkward and increasingly brutal efforts to make up for the missing decade. Ivan and Andrei find themselves alternately tested, rescued, scolded, mentored, scrutinized, and ignored by the man. Andrei seems to look up to his father while Ivan remains stubbornly defensive.
As truck stops and cafés give way to rain-swept, primeval wilderness coastline, Ivan's doubts give way to open defiance. Andrei's powerful need to bond with a father he's never known begins, in turn, to distance him from Ivan. Ivan and his father's test of will escalates into bitter hostility and sudden violence after the trio arrives at their mysterious island destination.
- Vladimir Garin as Andrei
- Ivan Dobronravov as Ivan (Vanya)
- Konstantin Lavronenko as Father
- Natalia Vdovina as Mother
The Return was filmed on and around Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland. The budget of the film remains a secret, though in an interview the director and the producer hinted that it was well below $500,000. The director also mentioned that the producers made their money back even before it was screened at the Venice Film Festival.
Awards and nominations
- Winner, Golden Lion
- Winner, Best First Film
- Winner, European Discovery of the Year (Fassbinder Award)
- Winner, Best Foreign Film
- Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film Russia
- Jason Wood -One hundred road movies 2007- Page 161 "shortly after filming, one of its young stars, Vladimir Garin, drowned in one of the very lakes where the picture was shot. A film of mythic proportions that examines issues of male authority, glancing back at Russia's past while looking also, "
- The Guardian Tragic twist denies young star triumph in Venice , Friday 5 September 2003 "As a tragic ending it is by far the most heartbreaking witnessed in the 60 years of the Venice Film Festival. The young Russian star of The Return, the favourite to lift the Golden Lion award tomorrow, drowned in an accident with haunting echoes of the film itself. After filming finished 15-year-old Vladimir Garin was dared by friends to jump into a lake from the top of a tower on which the film's opening sequence was shot. He plunged to his death."
- "The Return". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "The Return". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Official website
- The Return at the Internet Movie Database
- The Return at Rotten Tomatoes
- Movie Trailer and Screenshots