Writer-director Anne Fontaine bypasses any attempt at faithfulness to her source material.
Think of writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film as Scenes from a Marriage for the age of social media.
Andrew Haigh’s film has an urgency for epic things to happen to its main character in the most literal sense.
Once the wave hits, everything that follows is submerged by the blatant bid for an international audience and the crowd-pleasing clichés the film emulates almost too well.
Harsh punishments are dished out in a way that jolts the material away from coming-of-age cliché.
Like its protagonist, this disquieting debut slips into a state of sulfurous rage from which it never relaxes.
It’s a total turn-off that’s neither as lewdly subversive or as raucously debauched as its provocative title.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a complex place.