How I Ended The Summer (Day 27)
My Opinion: 3.8 || Ugh. A lazy guy we don’t like makes dumb mistakes that we don’t believe. Slowly.
TITLE: How I Ended The Summer (Kak ya provel etim letom)
DIRECTOR: Aleksey Popogrebskiy
LANGUAGE: Russian | COUNTRY: Russia
PROFILE: Drama | 130 minutes | IMDb (7.0)
SYNOPSIS (Courtesy of IMDb): A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel, a recent college graduate, are spending months in complete isolation on the once strategic research base. Pavel receives an important radio message and is still trying to find the right moment to tell Sergei, when fear, lies and suspicions start poisoning the atmosphere.
Reaction: This one isn’t worth a detailed commentary — even its failure is uninteresting. How this movie won over so many critics is baffling. If your creative goal is to showcase the self-inflicted decline of an unlikeable twerp, at least do it briskly. But Popogrebskiy seems intent on conveying isolation by isolating the viewer in a cone of plodding boredom.
I’m not ashamed to admit it: I hit the fast-forward button. Three or four times, going at double-speed through scenes that still went on forever.
At moments, the stupidity and cowardice of the (I hate to call him this) protagonist verged on the comical. But comedy would have equalled entertainment, and Popogrebskiy will have none of that. The premise could have provided insights into how extreme conditions affect the human character and how small miscalculations can mount tragically. Unfortunately, all it did was make me realize that I am, in fact, willing to root for another person to hurry up and freeze already.
But in the spirit of always finding something nice to say, here goes: Although the protagonist Pavel is consistently infuriating, I did like what Sergey Puskepalis gives us as the film’s other character. And I suppose I’ll grant that the movie does have a strong sense of place. The station is cold and dreary and dull: that really came across.
File Under: cold, isolation, survival, infuriating characters who do stupid things