The mythic and the absurd collide in Ivan Vyrypaev’s Euphoria, every sun-burnished image of which is calculated for maximum, eye-popping effect. Long takes abound, as do sweeping-and-swooping ‘copter shots over the raging waters and rolling fields of the Don steppes—these must be the “acres of wheat/cream of wheat” that Woody Allen’s Boris Grushenko speaks of in Love and Death. Yet all the sumptuous visual beauty cloaks a decided beast of burden, for the stage-educated Vyrypaev’s central trio of characters—Vera (Polina Agureyeva), Valery (Mikhail Okunev), and Pasha (Maxim Ushakov)—are ultimately little more than figures running through the landscape, slaves to a thinly conceived and executed love triangle, theatrical constructs through and through (call them Man, Woman, and Cuckold). Euphoria nonetheless impresses with the intensity and commitment of its vision, at its best trading in a delightfully Bulgakovian hilarity-cum-hysteria as when a subdued, yet simmering feud between two supporting characters (a cheated-on wife and a braggadocio-prone prostitute) comes to a utensil-wielding head.
- 73 min
- Ivan Vyrypaev
- Ivan Vyrypaev
- Polina Agureyeva, Mikhail Okunev, Maxim Ushakov
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