Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Oleg Pogodin: Home - Дом (2011)
Director: Oleg Pogodin
Writer: Oleg Pogodin
Stars: Sergey Garmash, Bogdan Stupka, Yekaterina Rednikova
Parts of Oleg Pogodin’s Home are like the film’s characters: incompatible but forced to stay together. And just like the characters form a family, different parts of the film do make a whole, which surprisingly holds together and at times delights the viewer. Beautifully shot and superbly cast, Home is a flawed yet compelling film that incorporates elements of gangster story, family epic and even western. This mélange reflects the director’s love for American filmmakers in the likes of Terrence Malick, Sam Peckinpah, and Francis Ford Coppola. A trained film critic with a cinephile’s eye, Pogodin transplants American tales to the black soils of Southern Russia, and the result is both local and epic, as the film, set in a family home, in the end turns to sweeping conclusions about the Russian character.
The story is deceptively simple: four generations of the Shamanov family, headed by a strong-willed Grigorii (Bogdan Stupka) and his sensible wife Nadezhda (Larisa Malevannaia), live in an imposing house in the middle of the Don River steppes. The family, getting ready to celebrate Grigorii’s father’s centennial birthday, is joined by Grigorii’s daughter Tamara (Evgeniia Dmitrieva), coming from Moscow and, unexpectedly, by his eldest son Viktor (Sergei Garmash), who returns home after 25 years of absence. What could be a complex enough exploration of a dysfunctional family gets a twist with Viktor’s backstory: a fugitive mobster, he came home to say farewell to his parents as a gang of criminals is on his tail.
Reviewed by Raisa Sidenova © 2012 in KinoKultura