I want to be the master of her.
Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko) is a young woman working in a hosptiral in a post war Leningrad. It's 1945, the fighting has stopped but the recovery will take agees. Iya fought herself, and now suffers from seizures that make her zone out for minutes at a time. This and her tall stature earn her the nickname "Beanpole." When we're first introduced to her, she has a young son, Pashka. (Timofey Glazkov) When tragedy strikes, we find out that it's not her child, but her friend Masha's. (Vasilisa Perelygina) Masha also fought in the war, and wound has left her infertile. Now Iya's owes her another child, and we follow the strange relationship between these two women.
The first thing I noticed was how warm it looks. For a film about something so dreary, the greens, yellows, and reds practically burn through the screen. The cinematography is gorgeous.
Initially when Masha first comes on screen, I was wondering how I was going to buy her relationship with Iya. Especially after what she asks of her, but they were completely convincing. Iya is very passive and Masha very manipulative, but it's never in a way that you think Iya has nothing at stake in this relationship. She does. Both actresses are wonderful and I never would've guessed it was both of their first performances.
My one complaint about this film was its pacing. I honestly think they could've cut about 20 minutes of it. I felt like so many scenes were just empty space. Yes, it's nice to linger at times, but this indulges a bit too much.
Memorable Quote: "He's dead, isn't he?" - Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina)