Russ 3222 - Paper 1
The Return, Andrei Zvyagintsev
Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Return is a film detailing a tragic story of a coming to manhood and the reunion of two sons with their absent father. The story follows the boys throughout their trials on a journey with a man they had never known. Zvyagintsev uses the father in comparison with the ideas of religion and communist Russia to enhance the understanding of power and what he sees as the responsibility of that power. The two boys are seen as the results of the use of that struggle with power and love. The subtle nods towards Christianity and the dualism of power and love bring out many similarities to Russian history. Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Return uses visual and plot events in reference to Christian images and events to support the idea of a dual existence of power and love in Russia during the communist reign.
The idea of power is a theme seen throughout the film, as well as throughout the reign of Communism in Russia and Christianity. The power God holds in religion is based on the idea of faith, believing that he is the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the world. We are told to follow his rules and that he knows best based on our assumption and belief of his role of power. Zvyagintsev brings this connection to our minds with the idea of the prodigal son returning, which would be the father, and the scene of the father sleeping. This juxtaposition with Andrea Mantegna’s painting, The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ (c. 1480) and the father sleeping connects the father in the role of Jesus, a position of power, to the audience, showing how the boys felt. The boys immediately assume he has the power over them due to his role as father and supposed protector. The father of the boys repeatedly demonstrates to them that he holds the power in the relationship. He not only tells them, but also shows them physically by hitting them and controlling their actions. The boys...