Beanpole ★★★

Postwar angst, examined over the course of an unannounced five-act structure, where character motivations veer wildly every half-hour or so, resulting in the impression that Balagov’s instinct as a dramatist is to shock instead of to empathize. He’s skilled enough a filmmaker that he absolutely achieves that goal, often intensifying the horrors of what he’s showing because he so often frames the most uncomfortable moments of the film in close-up. That being said, for a character study, the two central characters are rather one-dimensional and the tone of the piece is uniform to the point of monotony.