‘Cockpit 6’ review: Strangers on the Russian train

When the heroine of “Room 6” gets into a car with a guy who gives her nothing but grief, you can silently scream: What is she thinking? You can also judge her for what looks like a bad decision or the damn filmmaker for putting another woman in the misguided strait. Vulnerable women and dangerous men are clichés, but they also come to the fore in this intelligent, emotionally nuanced film that rarely goes where you’d expect it to be.

Set in late 1990s Russia – the Soviet Union collapses and our girl uses a Walkman – the film mainly takes place on a train from Moscow to the northwestern city of Murmansk. That’s where Laura (Seidi Haarla), a Finnish university student, plans to see Kanozero petroglyphs, rock drawings dating back five or six thousand years. The reason she left is not very clear. She is in Russia to study the language and express an interest in archeology. Her focus, however, is on Irina (Dinara Drukarova), a flirt who opened her apartment and bed with Laura but has stayed in Moscow.

Travel stories are almost always metaphorical expeditions with multiple destinations, not all of them literal. That’s true in “Compartment 6,” which is partly a story about a young, ambiguous girl’s journey of self-discovery. Laura has moved as soon as you see her for the first time, drifting through the party in Irina’s apartment to the sound of “Roxy Music”Love is medicine. “In a sense, it’s the perfect soundtrack: Laura’s favorite with Irina. But there’s also something different, even a little ironic, about Laura’s pairing, a bit of a sad blur, and this particular song, with its loud sounds, is clearly a world of fatigue. .

Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen is a skilful quick sketch artist, a talent that was first beautifully displayed in his feature film debut, “The happiest day in Olli Maki’s life”(2017), about a sweet boxer in love. At 6 minutes into “Room 6”, you have a rich sense of people and places, as well as a good understanding of Laura. You see her joy and displeasure – you see the fleeting smile and note the nervous bow – as she wanders through Irina’s apartment, a bohemian area filled with books, Repulsive objects and smart people are being smart for each other. Laura tried to fit in, but nowhere near polished enough.

Her sensuous solo turns into a vibrant, humorous, seemingly implausible duet soon after she settles into the cramped and dingy cabin. Her home for most of the rest of the story, it has been staked by her companion, Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov). It was hostility at first sight, or so close. At first, they didn’t talk to each other – he pulled out a bottle of wine without giving her anything – but by the time Laura was preparing to dock for the evening, Ljoha had come to her senses. “Russia is a wonderful country,” he simply shouted at her, referring to the defeat of the Nazis before gesturing to the moon: “We got there!”

Part of what makes “Room 6” so engaging and effective is the way Kuosmanen plays with the tone. In Irina’s apartment, Laura’s natural performances, loose cameras, simple staging, and visible insecurity create a sense of intimacy as well as empathy: We are all the same. awkward guests somewhere. As the story shifts to the train (the film is shot on moving carriages, not the sound track), its claustrophobic space and jerky movement help create a menacing intimacy, something that was combined by Ljoha’s aggression and Laura’s protection. The two characters both defend and oppose each other; However, the signs of dry humor also make their belligerence seem a little more silly.

The days passed and the train stopped and departed, the other characters in and out, Laura and Ljoha moving in and out of the compartment. As they ate, talked and smoked, which they did a lot, their shared animosity began to subside, giving way to different glances, closer conversations, and pleasurable moments. and amazing feeling. You could say they entered a bad period, but although the story evokes a particular historical period – and with it, the transition from the Soviet Union to the new Russia – Kuosmanen shies away from it. obvious politics. What interests him is Laura and Ljoha, the way they look and don’t look at each other, and by sharing food, chatting, and riding in cars, they express themselves.

Finally, the train reached its destination and so did Laura and Ljoha, who reached their terminus. Emotionally, the film reaches two-thirds of the time, after Laura loses her camera and all her images of Moscow. She and Ljoha were at the back of the carriage, staring at the misty night and the softly diffused colored lights of the warehouse they had just left. As the camera captures this fleeting scene, Laura tells Ljoha about Irina’s life, friends, and apartment. “I love them all,” Laura said as the darkness swallowed the light. Her voice was filled with longing, but she moved on.

Drawer No. 6
Rated R for profanity, drinking and smoking. In Russian and Finnish, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes. In the theater.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/movies/compartment-no-6-review.html ‘Cockpit 6’ review: Strangers on the Russian train

Fry Electronics Team

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