This was a weird movie. I don’t mean SyFy twists and turns or blood and gore, just weird. Normally when I see subtitles pop up for a DVD I eject the disk and return it. My major criticism with CafeDVD is their inability to identify what language a movie is actually in. Sometimes you can guess if it says “foreign,” but only sometimes. I mean they flag “Downton Abbey” as foreign and it is most definitely in English, at least the disks in America are.

Perhaps I didn’t get this movie because I’m not Russian. Maybe it is because the skeleton on the cover made me think a new prehistoric species had been found on this guy’s land and the entire movie was about the power grab for fame and fortune with the discovery. They never did explain what that skeleton was, but given the shots of whales swimming in the water I suspect it is a whale which beached itself some time ago.

What I surmised was a corrupt politician was trying to thieve this guy’s land at below market price all very realestate developer like. And very Russian like he was using a completely corrupt legal system to foreclose on the guy. (Actually that is very American developer like these days.)

So, guy calls in old military buddy who happens to be a prominent Moscow lawyer. Sorry to say they don’t go all Rambo. Instead they try to work within the legal system. Naturally that fails in less than a day (when a Russian government official wants something they make it happen fast.) Next the lawyer digs out his folder of blackmail content which will ensure a trial and public humiliation for the politician. It also ensures he will not get re-elected in the next year.

Politician goes and talks to a priest, then has goons kick the shit out of the lawyer while threatening his daughter. Up until this point the lawyer was having a pretty good run of it, even sleeping with his friend’s wife. By this time though, the extra curricular activities have been discovered and it is the second day in a row of getting the shit kicked out of him. Lawyer leaves town on next train.

Wife is found dead. Corrupt police trump up a murder charge against husband and he is convicted the next day. Politician starts demolition of buildings on property.

At this point, a Hollywood movie would have had the lawyer either riding in to save the day OR uploading the blackmail files to WikiLeaks. Given Sony Pictures Home Entertainment put its name on this film I expected one of those outcomes. Nope, this is Russian film. Almost feels like it was Russian propaganda film to keep its citizens in line.

We finally learn the real reason the politician wants the land. A Russian church leader wants to build himself a great place. The point of the movie seems to be:

See comrade, even the church is corrupt and will not protect you. Prepare to spend your life ground under the boot heel of your betters and be glad for the dilapidated dwellings and vodka we allow you.

Leviathan is an odd movie, but one of the few movies with subtitles I have actually watched in recent decades.

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