The Island (2007)
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 19
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 2,409
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
Oct 26, 2007 Wide
Mar 4, 2008
Film Movement - Official Site
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A contemplative fable, not without its wry wit, which effectively ponders the workings of faith, specifically the connection between gnawing guilt and a desire to do good.
The Island is visually stunning in its bleak, blue-hued austerity, but its storytelling is simplistic.
Screenplay by young Dmitry Sobolev, a student at Moscow's VGIK film school, has a familiar, almost folksy structure, making for satisfying storytelling but leaving viewers with less to ponder after the story's final, largely foreseeable twist.
Almost a sinful pleasure is Andrey Zhegalov's striking widescreen cinematography.
Stunning to look at and ambitious in its symbolic rendering of the subject.
An unsentimental journey of guilt, atonement and redemption, with moments of comic bleakness. Your eyes will be smarting.
The folksy structure both lulls and frustrates, and there's something dirgeish about the endless scenes of soul-wracking and tea-brewing. The cinematography's almost inappropriately pretty, though.
A slow and sometimes testing parable of sin, faith and redemption, Pavel Lungin's film escapes impenetrable tedium thanks mainly to a captivating central performance.
It's very easy to become weary with the ever-remorseful Anatoly, despite his mischievous sense of humour, and you find yourself yearning to cuff him about the ear and telling him to get over it.
Overall, the story's just a bit too neat to carry the portentous weight that the film-maker seems to be willing into the material.
The performances have a gruff splendour, the scenery is powerful. But Louguine lacks the talent, or Tarkovskian vision, to pack the screen with the kind of visual transcendentalism the story and dialogue peddle.
Nothing much is certain in this bleakly enigmatic tale, which moves at a pace most will find unacceptable. Those who stay the course will perhaps, like the monk himself, want to take a long rest afterwards.
A strange film but invested with an absorbing atmosphere as if Tarkovsky, and maybe God, had been advisers.
The island is located somewhere in Russia's icy White Sea, though it may as well be a hamlet of Mordor, a backdrop for a study of spiritual crisis that is as predictable as the film's monochromatic color palette.
Longuine pulls all these elements together into a deeply moving exploration of sin, redemption, and faith.
The Island is an aimless and unconvincing parable masquerading as a Bergmanesque art film.
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- The Island (Ostrov) (DE)
- The Island (Ostrov) (UK)