A Room and a Half (2009)
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Critic Reviews for A Room and a Half
True, [its] hustle and bustle sometimes feels like too much to take in at once, yet its heavy payload of literary quotations, philosophical argument and classical music is also perhaps an act of faith in an intelligent audience.
Khrzhanovsky's tone is too whimsical at times, and his points about repression too leaden, but that often happens when a cartoonist dabbles in live-action. Anyway, Khrzhanovsky's approach improves the material far more than it hinders.
A fanciful and melancholy portrait of exiled Russian poet Joseph Brodsky.
A rich, heady fictionalized biography of the exiled Russian poet Joseph Brodsky.
Audience Reviews for A Room and a Half
With enough cats and Communism to fill ten Chris Marker films, "A Room and a Half" may seem on the surface like just another coming of age movie that overstays its welcome. And while that's certainly true to an extent, it's what is going on in the background that is the most compelling. On a long sea voyage back to St. Petersburg(instead of Leningrad, which it was called when he left) after decades in exile, perpetually homesick poet Joseph Brodsky(Grigoriy Dityatkovskiy) thinks back to his childhood. A lot of the movie is told from that vantage point, when he gleans partial truths from overheard conversations that make no sense to a child at the time, while alerting us to the dark side of life in the Soviet Union at the same time. And his family is treated even worse since they are Jewish. As a child, he has a vivid imagination and fantasy life that is occasionally animated, just as the reality of the Soviet Union never matches the fantasy put forward by its leaders. He grows up, just as Stalin's reign ends and the people grow up, too, when they openly learn the crimes of the state. Ironically, that's when Brodsky gets into the most trouble. In the end, it would probably have helped if I was familiar with some of Brodsky's work. And I was surprised to find that somebody was kicked out of the Soviet Union. I had always thought they did their best fo forcibly keep people from leaving.
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