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The Fool

Dima (Artem Bystrov) is a young plumber and municipal repair chief living in an unnamed Russian town said to be not even 40 years old, though the dilapidated buildings and general squalor of the area suggest it's suffered centuries of neglect. One night, a pipe bursts in the town's most destitute communal housing complex, revealing severe structural damage that threatens to destroy the entire building in less than 24 hours. Fascinatingly reminiscent of Jan De Bont's Speed, the film essentially becomes a race against the clock, a tightly wound potboiler that uses time as an incendiary agent, and this is partly what makes the drawn-out conversations so tense. Desperate to evacuate the building's 800 residents, Dima crashes the 50th birthday party of Nina Galaganova (Natalya Surkova), the town's mayor, to mobilize the proper authorities, the majority of whom are also at the party, piss-drunk and not in the mood to discuss work, even at the expense of human lives. This is the director's way of contrasting the garish life of the ruling class from the shoddy life lived by everyone else, but it's also a maddening barrier that keeps our hero from saving the day, a wry invention that truly adheres to the notion of a political thriller.

1hr 56mins long
M Violence,offensive language and drug use.

Sergey Artsibashev
Pyotr Barancheev
Nina Antyukhova