Lilja 4-ever Reviews

  • 6d ago

    I'm going to call this an experimental film. Not for any innovations in form or genre, not for some exquisite, complicated purpose, but for its relentless stubbornness to never, under any circumstance, show any signs of light through the darkness. We have all seen movies rejoicing and thriving in getting us lower and lower into an abyss of misery and suffering, we have all seen proudly depressing movies, but I, personally, have never seen a movie refusing time and again to let go of the darkness. And this is not a good thing. Lilya 4-ever is, at the end of the day, gratuitously dark. It pretty much made its point thirty minutes into the script, but then it just kept overselling it, just for the sake of showing us that it's gritty and balsy. Good job, Lukas Moodysson, you are edgy as hell and you did manage to be so in a story that's more than coherent, if a little too exaggerated for a film with cinéma vérité aspirations. The soundtrack is overdone, the dream sequences a little too... on the nose and the acting isn't even that good except for lead Oksana Akinshina. On top of that, I really don't like a movie that makes me want to cry in the shower every twenty minutes without giving me a little hope at the end. I'm sorry, but ultimately experimental does not equate to good.

    I'm going to call this an experimental film. Not for any innovations in form or genre, not for some exquisite, complicated purpose, but for its relentless stubbornness to never, under any circumstance, show any signs of light through the darkness. We have all seen movies rejoicing and thriving in getting us lower and lower into an abyss of misery and suffering, we have all seen proudly depressing movies, but I, personally, have never seen a movie refusing time and again to let go of the darkness. And this is not a good thing. Lilya 4-ever is, at the end of the day, gratuitously dark. It pretty much made its point thirty minutes into the script, but then it just kept overselling it, just for the sake of showing us that it's gritty and balsy. Good job, Lukas Moodysson, you are edgy as hell and you did manage to be so in a story that's more than coherent, if a little too exaggerated for a film with cinéma vérité aspirations. The soundtrack is overdone, the dream sequences a little too... on the nose and the acting isn't even that good except for lead Oksana Akinshina. On top of that, I really don't like a movie that makes me want to cry in the shower every twenty minutes without giving me a little hope at the end. I'm sorry, but ultimately experimental does not equate to good.

  • Mar 08, 2021

    Lilya 4 ever is well shot and the central character is played by a wonderful actor. In fact I cannot fault much in in terms of direction or acting in this film. However it is about desperately hard circumstances in the former Soviet Union and human trafficking. The story is bleak and unrelenting; offering just more tragedy in an interesting and well shot picture. However I don't feel I have taken anything away from this film than a sad impression.

    Lilya 4 ever is well shot and the central character is played by a wonderful actor. In fact I cannot fault much in in terms of direction or acting in this film. However it is about desperately hard circumstances in the former Soviet Union and human trafficking. The story is bleak and unrelenting; offering just more tragedy in an interesting and well shot picture. However I don't feel I have taken anything away from this film than a sad impression.

  • Feb 14, 2021

    A bleak retelling of a tragic real-life story, Lilya 4-Ever manages to cover very dark and disturbing subject matter without being exploitative or unnecessarily graphic. The camera doesn't linger on the violence or abuse and the filmmakers don't revel in the misery of our lead character. The film is more concerned with the person the horrible events happened to, and not the events themselves. Its only about 30 minutes from the end of the film when the crux of the story actually comes to the fore. The rest of the time is spent with our heroine, who is abandoned by her family and neglected by those around her. Oksana Akinshina makes an excellent lead, thoroughly convincing as a school-aged girl suddenly thrust into an adult world, and its her down to earth nature and fundamental decency that make us like her so much and feel sorry for her when she's betrayed. The film does have its flaws, including a frequently intrusive sountrack, repetitive dream sequences and the unnecessary trope of beginning the film with a clip from the climax, but overall it's a solidly made and compelling look at a life cut short because of abuse and exploitation, and helps shine a light on human trafficking and sexual slavery, 2 things which have absolutely no place in any form of society.

    A bleak retelling of a tragic real-life story, Lilya 4-Ever manages to cover very dark and disturbing subject matter without being exploitative or unnecessarily graphic. The camera doesn't linger on the violence or abuse and the filmmakers don't revel in the misery of our lead character. The film is more concerned with the person the horrible events happened to, and not the events themselves. Its only about 30 minutes from the end of the film when the crux of the story actually comes to the fore. The rest of the time is spent with our heroine, who is abandoned by her family and neglected by those around her. Oksana Akinshina makes an excellent lead, thoroughly convincing as a school-aged girl suddenly thrust into an adult world, and its her down to earth nature and fundamental decency that make us like her so much and feel sorry for her when she's betrayed. The film does have its flaws, including a frequently intrusive sountrack, repetitive dream sequences and the unnecessary trope of beginning the film with a clip from the climax, but overall it's a solidly made and compelling look at a life cut short because of abuse and exploitation, and helps shine a light on human trafficking and sexual slavery, 2 things which have absolutely no place in any form of society.

  • Dec 12, 2020

    Dark but somehow beautiful. It was easy to feel the actors and the environment. Not a film to watch if feeling melancholic because it can disturb you for a long time.

    Dark but somehow beautiful. It was easy to feel the actors and the environment. Not a film to watch if feeling melancholic because it can disturb you for a long time.

  • Jun 14, 2020

    This film had me in tears already eight minutes into it. No film has made me cry as much as this one. It did its job well in that regard. One of the best film ever made.

    This film had me in tears already eight minutes into it. No film has made me cry as much as this one. It did its job well in that regard. One of the best film ever made.

  • May 08, 2020

    Love this movie from the depths of my heart. Gets me crying every time, and the fact that it's based on a real girl's story adds to its impact. Fly high, angels.

    Love this movie from the depths of my heart. Gets me crying every time, and the fact that it's based on a real girl's story adds to its impact. Fly high, angels.

  • Jul 03, 2019

    This movie reminded me of the bleak Russian landscapes that Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko novels inhabit. There are no grown-ups in Lilya's world, in the sense of an adult who feels any sense of obligation to do right for children, even teenagers. Exploit or abandon are the only options.

    This movie reminded me of the bleak Russian landscapes that Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko novels inhabit. There are no grown-ups in Lilya's world, in the sense of an adult who feels any sense of obligation to do right for children, even teenagers. Exploit or abandon are the only options.

  • Apr 29, 2017

    Movie about a young teen girl from Russia whose mother abandons her. She is left alone to fend for and feed herself and its heartbreaking. Really well told and directed. I really felt for this girl. I wanted so bad to help her. This has some hardcore sex scenes so its not for children. Be warned.

    Movie about a young teen girl from Russia whose mother abandons her. She is left alone to fend for and feed herself and its heartbreaking. Really well told and directed. I really felt for this girl. I wanted so bad to help her. This has some hardcore sex scenes so its not for children. Be warned.

  • Nov 04, 2016

    emotional and thought provoking film. I would highly recommend it.

    emotional and thought provoking film. I would highly recommend it.

  • Aug 07, 2016

    the most tragic story I've ever seen, to the extent that it is scary that this could be reality.

    the most tragic story I've ever seen, to the extent that it is scary that this could be reality.