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Bloody Russian Chamber Piece – Variety

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The coronavirus has made everybody a bit delicate, with good cause, inspiring memes round such now-sensitive film titles as delayed 007 entry “No Time to Die” and Emily Ting’s culture-shock indie “Go Again to China.” To this record of inappropriately named films we’d add “Why Don’t You Simply Die!” — besides that Russian director Kirill Sokolov’s pitch-black horror debut, which nixed its April 10 theatrical plans in favor of a straight-to-streaming choice two weeks later, is the form of deranged Grand Guignol massacre that’s incorrect in all the best methods. So, in a method, it suits (and is definitely preferable to the unique “Papa, sdokhni,” which interprets to “Daddy, Die!”).

Set virtually totally in a corrupt cop’s Moscow condo, “Why Don’t You Simply Die!” is a neatly conceived dark-comedy chamber piece — à la Wachowski siblings’ clockwork-perfect queer-noir “Certain” or Sidney Lumet’s hermetic however in any other case diabolical “Deathtrap” — wherein a easy setup spirals into unimaginably twisted mayhem. A troublesome, agitated younger man named Matvei (Aleksandr Kuznetsov, sporting a Batman hoodie and the snub-nosed profile of a traditional Dick Tracy thug) stands on the touchdown, vibrating with anticipation and wielding a rusty hammer behind his again. He clearly has some form of rating to settle. However what awaits him behind the door?

The reply, in phrases meant to protect the pleasure of discovery for audiences: a double-barreled shot gun, a sack full of money, an interrogation by energy drill, and sufficient secrets and techniques and surprises to gasoline an HBO restricted TV sequence — besides, on this case, it’s all been compressed to about 90 minutes of ultra-stylized and extremely environment friendly storytelling.

The condo belongs to what might need been Matvei’s future in-laws, had issues taken a special path together with his kinky pixie girlfriend Olya (Evgeniya Kregzhde). As an alternative, she offers him a mandate to kill her father, telling horrible tales of cruelty and abuse. Dim however devoted, Matvei arrives riled up and able to assault, like a caged bull able to cost his matador — though the hammer means that maybe he hasn’t actually deliberate out how this confrontation is meant to go. Nonetheless, Matvei’s power makes for an immediately tense opening. In truth, Sokolov’s movie (which he additionally scripted) isn’t extra gripping than on the outset, as on-edge viewers attempt to anticipate the coiled-spring potential of what’s to return.

Olya’s father, a bald-headed meat-barrel of a person named Andrei (Vitaliy Khaev), opens the door and permits the boy in, and for a couple of nervous minutes, they sit at reverse sides of the eating room desk sizing each other up — the identical eating room desk by way of which Andrei will imminently toss the unwelcome customer, utilizing Matvei’s hammer towards him in a transfer most professional wrestlers couldn’t pull off. This bone-crunching, tone-setting prologue runs practically 12 minutes and lays the inspiration for all that follows, culminating in a slow-motion POV shot of Matvei’s face smashing by way of the display of an old-school TV set — a picture that would virtually be pretty, if we weren’t all wincing by way of it — earlier than the movie’s first flashback.

To offer you an concept of simply how bloody “Why Don’t You Simply Die!” ultimately will get, take into account this: Borrowing the daring, over-art-directed look of “Amèlie,” manufacturing designer Viktor Zudin and costume designer Natalya Belousova make use of two principal colours all through, inexperienced and crimson, alternating the 2 in eye-pleasing methods. By the point the tip credit roll, nonetheless, virtually all the pieces that was as soon as inexperienced now seems scarlet. After the power-drill scene, for instance, audiences can hardly inform that Andrei’s shirt was as soon as a pale lima-bean inexperienced. He seems like Tim Roth on the finish of “Reservoir Canines,” in determined want of a dry cleaner. Or a tourniquet.

Quickly sufficient, the flooring are so slippery with crimson fluid that the characters can barely get up. One fella’s coronary heart stops for 17 minutes, solely to revive for one more spherical of punishment. Matvei could not have been high of his class, however he’s bought a a lot increased ache threshold than most (therefore the movie’s title, since he doesn’t die simply), and that makes Andrei’s efforts to kill the child extra sophisticated than they must be. He’s a unclean cop in any case, assisted at one level by his equally crooked associate Yevgenich (Michael Gorevoy), which is to say: Matvei by no means stood an opportunity — though the tables do flip when Olya reenters the image.

All that gratuitous bloodshed apart, “Why Don’t You Simply Die!” must be romantic in its method. It belongs to that attractive subgenre of flicks, like “Prison Lovers” or “The Final Seduction,” the place a thick-headed chump tries to show his chivalry by killing somebody on his lover’s behalf, all in pursuit of a relationship that might have a brief shelf life underneath even the most effective of circumstances. Sokolov doesn’t focus a lot on that underlying motivation, dedicating his creativity as an alternative to all of the methods these characters can do hurt to 1 one other. Contemplating the movie was made on modest means half the world away, it’s protected to say that Sokolov has gotten our consideration. Nevertheless it’s been virtually two years since this nasty little quantity premiered on the genre-film circuit. Why doesn’t he simply direct his subsequent film!

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