The Fool (Durak) (2015)
as Dima Nikitin
as Nina Galaganova
as Syn Dimy
as Otets Dimy
as Zhena Dimy
as Mat Dimy
Critic Reviews for The Fool (Durak)
The dialogue is broadly generalized, urgently on point, and bracing in its undisguised diagnostic fury. If you can accept its unabashed didacticism, The Fool plays crisply.
He may be saddled with an overly ironic title role, but Bystrov is terrific. His cowboy squint and dogged intelligence are enough to give you hope for Russia, although the movie certainly won't.
"The Fool" wraps its Hobbesian vision of squalor around a fable worthy of Frank Capra, but twisted to suggest a cruel inversion of Capra's inspirational allegories of humble Everymen crusading for justice and democratic ideals.
A distressing moral drama, gripping thriller and scathing sociopolitical portrait of Russia rolled into one.
Frank Capra would have approved of The Fool, a forceful Russian drama in which a lone plumber stands up to a corrupt system on behalf of the people living in a squalid apartment building.
Audience Reviews for The Fool (Durak)
I saw this at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival where this Russian drama's English title was listed as The Fool. Artyom Bystrov stars as Dima, a conscientious plumber. Artyom has a magnetism in this role as a hero surrounded by corruption. In fact, every synonym for the word honest in your thesaurus applies to this character and he is believable. Russia is still recovering from the collapse of the USSR. In trying to survive and gain power the bureaucrats in one small city have become incredibly corrupt. Dima discovers that a large apartment building full of lower class people and outcasts of society, one of many buildings where he works as a plumber, is crumbling and will probably not stand another 24 hours. The machinations of the bureaucrats to hold their positions and the contempt they feel for the poor unwanted people of this deteriorating building make the red tape impossible to cut through. All the people including Dima's family, from the haves to the have-nots, are drawn cleverly and realistically rather than as caricatures. There are portions of the film that more fully develop a couple of the bureaucrats too. Dima and the few other people who have a seed of virtue left risk life and limb in this intense drama. Throughout the film I perceived a Christian metaphor. I do not mean this is anything like the Left Behind series, which disgusts me, but it shares some themes though firmly planted in this world and not based on being awarded some supernatural afterlife. Dima's principles and his relationship with his father as well as the combination of corruption amongst leaders and physically crumbling housing where the least loved members of society live suggest to me a subtle Christian message. One, like the story of Les Misérables, that I am inspired by unlike the more loudly proclaimed but corrupted message usually force fed by the fundamentalists.
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