Despite The Falling Snow


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Despite The Falling Snow
"Baffling and slow"

The complexity of the plot camouflages a simple question. Is running away a betrayal?

What about time and place - Russia during the Cold War - and deadly secrets between lovers?

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Writer/director Shamin Sarif slices the story in half 30 years apart. On the one hand she suggests diplomatic intrigue in Moscow, 1961, and on the other capitalist smarts in New York, 1992.

This flashback/flashforward technique adds to the confusion. Connecting the dots, in this case the relationships, is a full time job. Is Lauren (Rebecca Ferguson as a blonde) Alexander's daughter, or some other relative? If Charles Dance is the older version of Sam Reid, who plays Alexander, an under secretary of sorts in the Communist regime, he has gained four inches in height. Must be all that Coca-Cola and ice cream.

In 1961, Alexander and his friend Misha (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) are planning to defect during a trade delegation to America. Alexander agrees as long as his wife Katya (Rebecca Ferguson as a brunette) can be smuggled across later. This does not happen for reasons that cannot be divulged under The Anti Spoiler Rules.

Lauren is an artist, living in New York. As well as being related to the main players she is (shock horror USSR) a lesbian. She organises an exhibition in Moscow where she has a one-night-stand with journalist Martine (Antje Traus) who is someone else's daughter from the dark old days, or not, and discovers truths about the past that lay loyalty low.

The film should have been romantic and thrilling yet turns out to be baffling and slow, leaving the audience up to their minds' eyes in mud(dle).

Reviewed on: 06 Apr 2016
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Despite The Falling Snow packshot
A spy falls in love with the politician she is supposed to be watching.
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Director: Shamim Sarif

Writer: Shamim Sarif

Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Sam Reid, Charles Dance, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Antje Traue, Anthony Head, Thure Lindhardt, Amy Nuttall, Ben Batt

Year: 2016

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: UK, Canada


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