Henry the Host’s review published on Letterboxd:
For our 55th episode of the podcast, we at ICFAMMPodcast decided to celebrate our second "Of Love and Monsters" Valentine's Day special with the 2015 Russian Film, I AM DRAGON.
First and foremost, it should be noted that I, Henry the Host, can not stand the "Beauty and the Beast" archtype. The Stockholm ridden love story always has given me the willies and frankly the only example I like it used is the 2005 Peter Jackson's King Kong.
That is until this film.
I AM DRAGON does a surprisingly unique and somewhat progressive take on the "beauty and the beast" story cliche and follows a young girl who's marriage ceremony unknowingly summons the last dragon. The creature abducts her and brings her to his isle. There the girl, Miroslava, encounters the young man Armon who at first she believes is a fellow prisoner but soon learns that Armon and the Dragon are one and the same. This is where the story takes a shift because Miroslava does find some attraction in Armon but is weary of what he is capable of. She decides to teach him to be human and in the process they both seem to fall for each other. While themes of consent and the importance of communication are prevalent and to be honest, quite impressive in this film, the story does at times just throw random problems in that make the characters act out of sorts. A good example of this is in the end when Miroslava does return home and when she reveals that she loves the dragon, the whole village agrees with her desires when honestly, in the beginning of the movie it seemed her wants and desires where not fully supported.
The podcast episode for this movie was one of my favorites to record since having Samia Mounts and her husband Jonny Mantra were both delightful guest. I would highly recommend checking out the full review in that episode cause Samia brings some very important insights on the female aspect of this film while also bringing up how while this film does portray a relatively positive fairy tale romance dynamic, one could also view it as an incredibly "she can fix him" toxicity that is always appears in the 'Beauty and the Beast" archetype.
ICFAMM Overall Grade: A- [23/25]
Monster Concept: 5
Monster Design / Execution: 5