Review: The Lightest Darkness

The Lightest Darkness

Struggling to finish a case, an anxious and obsessive Private Eye boards a train; and as a British person I know, nothing good happens on a train. Slowly R.I Musin’s (Rashid Aitouganov) secrets start to reveal themselves in this two story Russian Noir.

The Lightest Darkness is touted as the first (and since it was done in 2017) possibly only Russian Noir to be directed by a woman. The Lightest Darkness and its director Diana Galimzyanova is an ambitious and intriguing endeavour. With two cinematographers taking the helm to film two very different but intertwined tales, one reversed and one completely linear, The Lightest Darkness is at its best an intriguing web of discover and at its worst plain confusing. Overall The Lightest Darkness pulls it out of the bag and proves a good rendition of a Noir the mixing of the two styles is visible, but creative and adds another layer that this film would otherwise not have. Complete with all the costume tropes, angles and old timey charm, apart from its modern day setting you could easily argue there’s nothing not to like.

Yet, for me, I found it difficult to marry a game designer wearing 20’s garb and travelling on an old sleeper train as if it’s 1924. I have the feeling fans of Noir would love this contrast, and overall I see nothing wrong with The Lightest Darkness, but for me noir is a little…let’s say dead, and The Lightest Darkness brought very little to the table to revive it. Having been made partly through an Indiegogo campaign I’d say Galimzyanova has created something magical and should be proud of bringing her vision to life. Noir fans will undoubtedly love it. I’d really enjoy seeing her put her hand to something else, as well as the actors in this film who’ve done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to say I enjoyed it.

If you’re into noir please please please give this a go. Galimzyanova’s piece and The Lightest Darkness deserves it. I just may not be watching noir again anytime soon.

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Films, games, Godzilla and Scott Pilgrim; these are the things that Alex loves. As he tries to make use of the fact he’s always staring at a screen or in a book, you’ll hopefully be treated to some good reviews along the way (though he doesn’t promise anything).


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