[RRFF ’12] Two Days (Два дня)

Two Days is a romantic/comedy/drama, and an unexpected one. Heading into this film, I felt a little unsure of what sort of film it was going to be. The first act reveals a few hints, but it is during its middle act where it’s true colours are really shown, and I was delighted by what I saw. This is a different kind of romantic/comedy, mixed with drama of course, and it is a wonderful reflection of Russian filmmaking. This feels very fresh, there are aspects that are not new to the genre but it doesn’t matter because of how it is all handled. It is always an experience to see films from all over the world, and how each part of the world has their own flavour and genre ideas. I think Two Days is going to be a crowd pleaser; it is this freshness and charm that will delight filmgoers.

The story is a slightly complicated one, and something that is really interesting to see unfold. It focuses on the journey of two people from very different worlds, and the relationship that forms between them. On the one hand we have Deputy Minister of Culture Pyotr Drozdov, whose basic job is to visit places and cut as much cultural spending as possible. This leads him to a small museum with an estate that is dedicated to a writer. This is where he meets the very strange and opinionated Marsha, and the pair embarks on a very unexpected relationship. There are of course drama’s pertaining to the museum, with Poytr there on a mission to obtain it for the region Governor. Things do come crashing down, and watching this all unfold is just an amazing adventure.

The film is one that is a visual delight, it is eye candy all the way through. The location is a stunning place, and almost a character in itself. Each scene is wonderfully crafted, with some scene’s having such lovely long takes. It is nicely shot, and the cinematography certainly holds up as one of the best I have seen this year. It’s one of those films that you just want to jump into because it looks so inviting. There is a really nice core story at play as well, with old vs. new, and keeping traditions of the past alive and not letting them disappear. It is also about personal growth, with experiences that are unexpected and not being afraid to finally let yourself do what you really want. These are things that are weaved into the film, cleverly I might add, and it really makes for a very immersive experience.

Having two amazing actors with Fedor Bondarchuk as Poytr and Ksenia Rappoport as Marsha is the icing on the cake with this film. These two become their characters, share this intense on-screen chemistry and actually engage the audience. The film really is all about these two, these two very different characters that embody things that we can all relate to. The pair won the Golden Eagle Award for Best Actor and Actress in 2011 and it is easy to see why. They lit up the screen, and make this a memorable experience.

I was very impressed with co-writer/director Avdotya Smirnova, she really crafted something special with Two Days. There is so much being said, yet it is never complicated and flows very smoothly. She brought such a beauty to this piece, with a great eye for visuals that resulted in some precious moments. I was extremely impressed with this film, and very glad I had the opportunity to experience this great piece of Russian cinema.


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