When discovering love in a hopeless place, it’s onerous to think about higher supply materials than a memoir by a former Soviet soldier, who recounted his affair with a pilot in the course of the Chilly Battle.
“Firebird” is predicated on Sergey Fetisov’s story of his clandestine 1970s romance, and for it, the director Peeter Rebane has discovered faces that appear pulled from a Soviet propaganda poster. It’s a liaison of sq. jaws, sq. shoulders and sq. corners of starched uniforms. The movie, written by Rebane and Tom Prior, who performs Sergey, is a bit sq., too.
Sergey, a personal on the Haapsalu Air Pressure Base in Estonia, meets Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii), a hotshot pilot, whereas taking images for the navy journal. Regardless of their grim environment — the undecorated barracks reverberate with the barks of orders — the pair have a young courtship. They share a ardour for images, and Roman introduces Sergey to ballet. The consummation of their dewy-eyed affair is filmed with the identical candlelit filter utilized to the covers of romance novels. When the couple are reprimanded by their navy superiors and pressured to separate, it comes as a shock that they had been ever attempting to cover.
Romances in cinema are animated by their capacity to point out the passing moments in dialog, the unintentional gestures that sign curiosity. What’s stultifying for this superbly photographed, totally good-looking movie (shot by the Estonian cinematographer Mait Maekivi) is that it lacks spontaneity in its moment-to-moment execution. Every line and picture feels predetermined, as if Rebane and his characters had already determined this love story was a dropping battle. There’s loss, however little sense of danger.
Rated R for sexual content material and temporary nudity. Working time: 1 hour 47 minutes. In theaters.