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Betrayal (2012)

Director:Kirill Serebrennikov Producer:Sabina Eremeeva Screenplay by:Natalia Nazarova, Kirill Serebrennikov

Cinematography:Oleg Lukichyov  Edited by:Sergey Ivanov Running time:115 min Country:Russia Language:Russian

Genre:Drama  Subtitle:English  Starring:Albina Dzhanabaeva ... First Wife, Dejan Lilic ... He, Svetlana Mamresheva ... Second Wife,
Franziska Petri ... She
, Andrei Shchetinin ... First Husband, Arturs Skrastins ... Second Husband, Guna Zarina ... Crime Investigator



    Ҿ¹õԡ ҵá ͹͹ͧҡ

Ҫԧԧ⵷ͧӨҡȡ˹ѧǹ 2012


     She is a woman with a dried up soul. Constant loneliness is killing her. A casual acquaintance with a man happens, whose wife is having affair with her husband. This betrayal drives them to do things they didn''t dare to do before. They are looking for something to build a new life, but the fact of infidelity returns them again and again to the past and drawn them into dark abyss. And there''s no way out of it.

     When a woman tells a man she barely knows that her husband is having an affair with his wife, everything starts to go out of whack in Betrayal, helmer Kirill Serebrennikovs troubling, formally complex study of obsession. Anchored by incandescent perfs from German thesp Franziska Petri and Macedonian actor Dejan Lilic, both dubbed seamlessly into Russian, the film becomes more entrancing as it goes along, though auds may have trouble swallowing outrageous coincidences that, as with Serebrennikovs previous work, deliberately break with realist rules of drama. Strong critical support will be required for Betrayal to win trust offshore.

    Pics austere strategy becomes gradually evident by the time auds realize that theyre never going to find out the name of the barely seen burg where the action is set, or those of the characters, identified only by pronouns in the credits.

    The first few scenes set out to disorient and shock from the off: A man (Lilic, largely a legit thesp in his native Macedonia) arrives at a hospital for a routine heart checkup with a doctor (Petri), who informs him in the middle of his cardiogram that his wife is sleeping with her husband. Angry and incredulous, he storms out, but later speaks to the doctor at a bus stop that suddenly gets plowed into by an SUV just moments after they leave, killing three people an effective symbol for the devastation wrought by this humiliating personal revelation.

    At home, the mans pretty young wife (pop singer-actress Albina Dzhanabayeva) seems as cheerful and loving as ever. The atmosphere is much chillier at the womans home, where her husband (Andrei Shchetinin) regularly comes home conspicuously late, and shes taken to eating handfuls of dirt in despair and masturbating mournfully beside him while he sleeps.

   After the woman gives the cuckolded husband a tour of the spots where the illicit lovers meet for their trysts, he accepts the truth. To reveal subsequent events would spoil several of the films most startling surprises; suffice it to say that things get considerably weirder, while the script by Natalia Nazarova and Serebrennikov defies auds to swallow credulity-stretching character behavior (particularly from a cop played by Guna Zarina) and coincidences that would seem unlikely in a Russian fairy tale.

   However, those familiar with Serebrennikovs work (especially his debut, Ragin, Bed Stories and his underappreciated previous pic, Yuris Day) will be aware that a certain amount of surreal narrative lunacy is a vital part of the helmers m.o.; its as if his characters inner psychology has shaped and distorted the very fabric of reality. After the infidelity has been revealed, the focus contracts painfully to just a few characters caught up in spiraling patterns, compelled to haunt the same places over and over, as with the lovers using the same ill-fated hotel room every time. Like the complexly coiffed hairstyles Petri wears throughout (recalling Kim Novaks in Vertigo), the configurations keep shifting but everything is ultimately wound up with tight aesthetic bobby pins, not a hair out of place.

   A similar waste-nothing principle governs the performances, with the leads in particular underplaying with a subtlety thats on just the right side of enigmatic. Petri, not well known beyond Germany, is a particular revelation, mesmerizing throughout with her piercing feline eyes and brisk hauteur.

   Of the uniformly pro crew, ace Russian lenser Oleg Lukichev (who also shot Yuris Day and Alexei German Jr.s Gaspastum and The Last Train) deserves particular praise for his nervy but still fluent handheld lensing in widescreen, making stylish use of lens flares and shallow focus. Not since The Battleship Potemkin has a Russian film rendered staircases quite so menacing.





Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2012

Jury Prize
Best Actress
Franziska Petri 

Hidden behind Franziska Petri''s intense catlike eyes is a powerful and fearless performance that ... More

Grand Prize
Kirill Serebrennikov 

Venice Film Festival 2012

Golden Lion
Kirill Serebrennikov 

Wiesbaden goEast 2013

Award of the Federal Foreign Office - Honorable Mention
Kirill Serebrennikov 




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