Its astounding to see how all the love that bound two individuals so close together not long back, gives way to hate of a vicious kind, where one starts to abhor the presence of the other in unimaginable ways. Andrey Zvyagintsev ‘Loveless’ is a stinging take on the abomination and loathing that human beings are capable of, conveniently strangling every memory that they would associate with a love that had been long lost.
Twelve year old Alexey disappears one fine day, leading his almost separated parents Zhenya and Boris into fits of accusations and counter accusations. The boy had for long been the last leaf on their dead tree of a marriage, and as much as he had ceased to exist in their lives for a while, the couple is drawn into a harrowing ordeal of guilt and reappraisals that leaves them distraught.
Zvyagintsev delves deep into the contemporary Russian society, and through repeatedly brilliant flashes of symbolism emphasizes how the chill of a cold winter has seeped into the hearts around, transforming them into ruthless beings who have locked themselves up in air tight chambers of their own. While Zhenya buries herself in the incessant beeps and clangs of her mobile phone and finds herself a new affluent partner, Boris looks ahead to a new life with his pregnant girl friend.
The final scenes of ‘Loveless’ are a horrific assertion on how life has come a full circle again, after months have passed since Alexey’s silent exit from their lives. Nothing is resolved and the world around has moved on, and as the camera zooms up towards the snow laden branches of the trees beside the river that we had initially watched Andrey walk by, children run around amidst cries of cheer on the park nearby, men and women move about animatedly drawing their fur coats tighter towards themselves and the wind, as ever, stubbornly blows.