Critic Consensus: Beautifully shot, but ultimately disappointing, lumbering sophomore effort from Russian potential great Andrey Zvyagintsev.
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Critic Reviews for Izgnanie
We will not reveal more of the plot in the hope that one day it will be playing in a theater near you . It is truly something to see; for among all the lives to be ruined it is a visual rhapsody.
If only the ravishing opening shot of Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Banishment was followed up with both beauty and something genuinely profound, then disappointment wouldn't be so palpable.
A movie falls into the clutches of long, solemn stares into space, meaningful drags on cigarettes, cryptic dialogue revealing little and a tiny drama that feels old, tired and empty of real purpose.
For all of its ingenuity, and the incredible, drawn-out events that conclude the film, there is a high risk that this film alienates its audience.
The Banishment is so obviously the work of an exceptional film-maker that you can't deny its power, ambition and ability to keep you watching.
Audience Reviews for Izgnanie
This movie is absolutely stunning visually, and the story has deep meaning. However, it didn't move me quite as much as "The Return". I'm not quite sure why, but somehow the way the movie was structured works against it, in particular the anachronisms. I was thrown off by suddenly changing timelines and even though it all made sense in he end, I think it was an unnecessarily distracting. Also I could not quite tell where the events took place, the "town" and the "countryside" seemed like they were in different countries (and as it turned out they were indeed filmed in different Western European countries - not even in Russia).
It beats me how Konstantin Lavronenko won over Javier Bardem's performance in No Country for Old Men but Izgnanie is still a strong film in every other department. And sure, I suppose unexpectedly leaping from one place to another, getting wrestled to the floor, and sobbing merits some sort of award. This film I'm sure isn't for all tastes as throughout the running time there are Tarkovsky-influenced moments of hypnotizing beauty.
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