Zhmurki (Dead Man's Bluff) (Blind Man's Bluff) Reviews
If so, my Alexei Balabanov festival started with Brother, which I credited, despite low budget values, for being a solid story.
I get the more recent Dead Man's Bluff and I see the same production values, which may reflect my lack of understanding on how the Russian film industry works to assume should be better by this stage, and that is a turn off when one considers that the characters and tone of this film, while similar to Brother in some ways, are not drawn as well.
Here we see an attempt to forcefully add a sense of macabre humour that works at some points, but at others is transparent and not funny. There is quite a bit of ultra-violence which adds some flavour to things, but the general malaise of the aimless characters wandering around can lead one's eyes to begin shutting. Acting performances are uneven with most tending towards amateur style.
You can even note a couple of scenes where the director is evidently trying to get in some ladies pants by obviously including them in the production. They walk by the foreground in completely obvious fashion, as also a woman playing a waitress poses. At least the latter had an actual role. This is distracting and again looks amateur.
It provides nothing a film fan hasn't seen before, while reminding me of a cheap Pulp Fiction knock-off.
So ends my Balabanov festival. It seems his movies are all done this way.
Simply brilliant - anyone looking for a top black comedy - look no further.