“Leviathan” is a modern Russian take on the Book of Job, pitting a simple, honest man against — not God or the Devil — but the corruption of current Russian life. Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) lives in a small fishing town near the Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and his son Roma (Sergey Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt mayor Vadim Shelevyat (Roman Madyanov) is determined to take away his business, his house, as well as his land, and attacks Kolya with every corrupt means at his disposal, first trying to buy him off, then using illegal machinations, and finally resorting to violence. Kolya enlists the aide of a lawyer friend from Moscow, but that only makes matters worse. Through it all, Kolya “shakes his fist” at the mayor and the powers-that-be. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev imbues the bleak Russian countryside with a beautiful glow as he unflinchingly takes a harsh look at modern Russian life. Slow at times, the film is a rewarding work of art and social satire. In Russian with English subtitles. Vitals: Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Stars: Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Aleksey Serebryakov, Sergey Pokhodaev, Roman Madyanov. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 140 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.092 million, Sony. Extras: Commentary with director Andrey Zvyagintsev and producer Alexander Rodnyansky, “The Making of Leviathan,” TIFF Q&A with Zvyagintsev, deleted scenes.
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