Beanpole ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

There were times when it was a bit too slow-paced for my taste, but I didn't really mind. The performances of the two female leads—how they show silent grief, post-war trauma, and yearning, without relying too much on dialogues, were perhaps the film's most powerful strength. Moreover, its warm and vibrant hues, the striking clothes, the green walls, etc., all serve as an interesting juxtaposition to the characters' internal battles and the bleak atmosphere of the society brought upon by the war.

I would like to point out and put together, side-by-side, two particular shots in the film: one, when Iya slept right behind little Pashka, and one when Iya slept next to Masha, who exhibited almost the same sleeping position and behavior like her son (i.e. rubbing their noses unconsciously). Both Masha and Pashka were unaware of how Iya clings to them, almost burying her face behind them in longing. These shots lasted only a couple of seconds, and some may not even catch that callback. However, it was at that point when I thought that the film was astounding; that it has the ability to convey important subtexts without making it too blatant. All in all, kudos both to Viktoria Miroshnichenko (Iya) and Vasilisa Perelygina (Masha) for hauntingly powerful portrayals of two women battling against post-war trauma.