Sunday, November 4, 2012
We found ourselves watching Край,or the Edge, last night. It dates to 2010 and features one of my favorite actors, Vladimir Mashkov. It seems made largely for foreign consumption as noted in this review in kinokultura. The film is set in the aftermath of WWII with a fallen war hero finding himself a very reluctant champion of German survivors in a gulag on the edge of Siberia. The film is played more for action than it is meaning, but nonetheless offers some pithy theatrical moments.
It is a muscular movie, in some ways similar to Konchalovsky's Runaway Train, as much of the action swirls around two rival locomotive drivers, but seems to come down to uprooted nationalities. There was a surprise appearance from one of my favorite Lithuanian actors, Vladas Bagdonas, as an exile in this penal colony, although most of the detainees were German. This of course leads to much tension with the local Russians, which Ignat no longer feels part of it, made adamantly clear when they won't let him drink with them. Such moments are a bit too melodramatic, but the film has a good flow even if it doesn't feel like it is going anywhere.