‘How Viktor "The Garlic" Took Alexey "The Stud" to a Nursing Home': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2017

A boozy derelict and his ex-con father share an emotionally charged highway outing in executive Alexander Hant’s prize-winning debut.

An indignant immature male embarks on a brutally rational tour with his long-estranged father in Russian executive Alexander Hant’s rough satirical highway movie, that won a categorical esteem in a East of a West strand during a Karlovy Vary International Film Festival final week. Fast-paced and cheerfully vulgar, ripping with comic-book assault and corporeal fluids, How Viktor “The Garlic” Took Alexey “The Stud” to a Nursing Home is a most some-more interesting float than a irksome, stiff pretension competence suggest. Cloaking semi-serious art residence mixture in pale action-comedy clothes, Hant’s entrance underline ticks adequate boxes to potentially make a melodramatic dash over a festival bubble. Imagine Toni Erdmann destined by Quentin Tarantino.

Viktor (Yevgeny Tkachuk) is a hard-drinking, belligerent, 27-year-old man-child operative a zero-option bureau pursuit in a dead-end Russian town. He has small time for his submissive mother and immature child, instead spending his giveaway time boozing to additional and carrying boisterous sex with his mistress Lariska (Alina Nasibullina), whom he dreams of environment adult in her possess “whore’s nest” apartment. Unfortunately, his intrigue to contend a bank loan formed on his family credentials as a self-described waif proves fruitless.

Fate intervenes when Viktor’s long-absent ex-convict father Alexey (Alexey Serebryakov) resurfaces. With his health failing, Alexey agrees to pointer over his unit to his disloyal son, only as prolonged as Viktor finds a nursing home for him. But a nearest accessible place is hundreds of miles away, so Viktor loads his horizontal, bed-ridden father into a behind of his scrappy red mini-van for an eventful highway outing opposite Russia’s immeasurable farming hinterlands. Along a approach there are startle revelations, medical emergencies, ungainly reunions with aged abandon and fatal showdowns with former jail comrades.

Much of Hant’s lowlife comic frisk is played for bold laughs and wanton thrills, though it casts a neatly satirical eye on a dog-eat-dog values of contemporary Russian society, too. It is also peppered with moments of pathos, like a touching energetic of Alexey and Viktor solemnly noticing their many common impression flaws by a haze of mutual loathing.

The dual leads are good cast, their earthy similarity ostensible to whet as a tract deepens. Securing a services of Serebryakov, who starred in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Oscar-nominated Leviathan and will shortly take a Hugh Laurie purpose in a Russian-language reconstitute of House, is a manoeuvre that competence assistance boost a film’s blurb prospects. Now staying in Canada, Serebryakov reportedly waived his price to assistance move Hant’s low-budget plan to fruition.

Tkachuk’s opening is strong and constrained though a small one-note, his face sealed in a incessant snarl as he struggles to communicate a inlet of bleeding rancour that distortion underneath Viktor’s impatient aspect armor. Inevitably, father and son strech a kind of nervous equal by a finish of their journey, though thankfully it is some-more changeable and reduction romantic than it competence have been in a some-more conventional, Hollywood-ized story.

Hant and cinematographer Daniil Fomichev preference a quick-fire visible abbreviation that suggests they were lifted on a high-sugar diet of Danny Boyle, Guy Ritchie and Edgar Wright movies: all primary colors, percussive edits and adorned visible gags. A sepulchral soundtrack of coarsely rasped Russian-language swat song propels a movement along, reinforcing a zippy song video aesthetic. The outcome is mesmerizing and cartoonish during times, though easily counterbalanced by a low join of bleak, filthy, fatalistic realism that feels really Russian, indeed.

Production company: VGIK – Debut
Cast: Yevgeny Tkachuk, Alexey Serebryakov, Andrey Smirnov, Alina Nasibullina, Olga Oblasova
Director: Alexander Hant
Screenwriter: Alexey Borodachev
Producers: Fedor Popov, Vladimir Malyshev
Cinematographer: Daniil Fomichev
Editor: Nataly Shmidt
Art director: Asya Davydova
Venue: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Sales company: VGIK – Debut, [email protected]

90 minutes