Magazine article Screen International

The Idiot

Magazine article Screen International

The Idiot

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Rainer Sarnet. Estonia. 2011. 127mins

Based on the Dostoyevsky novel of the same name The Idiot (Idioot) is an impressively stylised piece of work that takes on elements of the surreal, Estonian theatrical tradition and even German Expressionism.

This has enough verve and inventiveness to make it a unique and enjoyable literary adaptation.

With an imminent domestic theatrical release and an international premiere at the Busan International Film Festival, the film should follow in the footsteps of The Temptation of St. Tony (produced by the same company) and prove popular on the festival circuit. However, it may prove too obtuse for even the most adventurous international art-house distributors.

The film follows Prince Myshkin, who comes to stay with a distant relative after a spell in a sanatorium caused by his epilepsy. He soon becomes entranced with the beauty of Nastassya Filippovna, a damaged woman who has drawn the affections of many men including the fiercely jealous Rogozin. But whilst Myshkin is falling for Nastassya Filippovna he also begins to have feelings for the artist Aglaja. Soon Myshkin earns the enmity of Rogozin and finds that trying to be a good person in a fundamentally bad world may be idiocy indeed. …

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