DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

No Looking Back

Director - Kirill Sokolov - 2021

"Mostly clean movie"
Mother and grandmother fight over a child with all weapons available, in this blood-soaked slapstick comedy from Russia - from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK SNAP: LIVE FROM TALLINN

Recent Russian films that reach the Western World barely paint a rosy picture of the Slavonic nuclear family. Cruel mothers, loveless children, violent men, dysfunctional relationships and hopelessness permeate the movies of the Andrey Zvyagintsev, Sergey Dvortsevoy, Ilya Khrzhanovsky and others. No Looking Back is no exception. The difference is that Kirill Sokolov’s movie is a comedy. It’s equally disturbing, yet intended to make you laugh. A feel-good movie about women viciously attacking each other.

Fiery and explosive Olga (Viktoria Korotkova) has just left prison after a four-year-stint. She returns home and snatches 10-year-old Masha (Sofia Krugova), who had been left to live with her overbearing grandmother Vera (Anna Mikhalkova). Both Olga and Masha detest grandma. The film is extremely violent from the outset. Olga gives Vera a bloodied nose, and Vera stabs Olga in the chest. Olga is left with a “bleeding vagina” above the waist, remarks Masha. Masha leaves a pile of faeces at grandma’s before departing. The crass humour just goes on and on.

Grandma Vera goes on a quest to find the two females who have vanished into the woods. She is supported by Olga’s former lover Oleg (Aleksandr Yatsenko), who still hopes to rekindle the romance with the young fugitive. Masha gouged his eye out with a sliver of glass years earlier, the very reason why she went to prison – the extremely violent scene depicted in graphic detail. Oleg has nevertheless forgiven Olga. He even plans to propose to her.

The violence escalates. Olga and Vera have absolutely no qualms at killing each other. The next developments include hitchhiking, car chases, a police car overturned and a hapless police officer terrified at the brutal and savage women. The two males (Oleg and the police officer) are weak and irresolute, at the mercy of the wild and obstinate females. The small Masha is the only vaguely dignified and held-together character.

Much of the comedy relies on ensanguined slapstick elements, with people falling down and being hit on the head repeatedly. And countless bullets shot in just about every direction. The outcome is gushing wounds, pools of blood and bodies lying on the ground. Could this family from hell achieve some sort of redemption? The answer is a bloody yes. Not quite a rosy picture of the Russian family, however one crafted with abundant money from the country’s Ministry of Culture. Regrettably, violence sells.

No Looking Back is showing in Competition at the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. This is Sokolov’s second feature film, after the black comedy Why Don’t You Die? (2018) – also a suitable title for the 2021 movie.



"Mostly clean movie"

By Victor Fraga - 22-11-2021

By Victor Fraga - 22-11-2021

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a dirty Latin immigran...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

The Woodcutter Story

Mikko Myllylahti
2022

Redmond Bacon - 21-05-2022

This typically Finnish tale ticks all the boxes of the national spirit, but failed to lift mine — live from the Cannes Film Festival! [Read More...]

Resistances: Words and Art for Fighting Political Defamation

Cristina Juliana Abril.
2022

Liván García-Duquesne - 16-05-2022

Four Brazilian artists living in political exile aim to transform trauma into art and beauty, in this reflective piece of filmmaking - at the Rich Mix on Saturday, May 28th [Read More...]

The Drover’s Wife

Leah Purcelll
2022

John McDonald - 12-05-2022

Meandering western led by a stellar performance covers some important themes, but it struggles to grip hold of its audience - in cinemas on Friday, May 13th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *