Ok guys, I finally got to see the movie "Cyborgs", and here are mine impressions.
It's one of the best war movies that I have ever seen, but at the same time I don't think it'll make the Oscars short list or even get some sort of limited release in other markets.
I know Ukrainians will hate me for this, but Cyborgs is like a really, really good Soviet-style war movies that were filmed, but never released to the public by the commie censors. Make no mistake, it's a war movie, there is no anti-war sentiment in it. Ukrainian troops portrayed in the movie realize that there is no other option, they have to be "there", and "they" have to fight. One of the officers says that for "a quarter of a century we didn't talk to each other honestly and here we are".
There is very little action in the movie. All the battle scenes in it were shown in the trailer. Yet, the movie is not boring by any stretch of the imagination. It's just through dialogs shows the experiences of the Ukrainian troops who MADE A CHOICE to fight in besieged building because they are convinced it'll change the future of Ukraine for the better.
The problems with the movie are as follows: it was filmed purely to honor the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian soldiers and is aimed at the audience which is intimately familiar with the particulars of the conflict. I'm fluent in three languages, and I would have had tremendous difficulty writing subtitles for it to convey emotions properly. It's one of those foreign movies that should be dubbed with high quality voice actors, and my money is on that Ukrainian studio responsible for the movie release won't do it thereby limiting the movie appeal. Furthermore, there are some editing issues as the movie was initially intended to be a limited TV series, and the studio cut it down to under 2 hours instead of 160+ minutes running time for TV.
There are a lot of profound questions raised in the movie, how to reconcile nationalism and globalism. What makes a nation? What is the value of human life, is one life more valuable than the other? To the latter question, Ukrainians gravitate to Yes, not all lives are equal, as the commanding officer found out that one of his soldiers is a world renown musical prodigy, he tries his best to send him to the rear ("how I'm going to explain to Ukrainian people that I have ordered a winner of international musical competition to take on Russian armor?")
The big question that underlies the whole movie is "it's clear what do you fight against, but the real question is what are you fighting for?"
The guy who came to the airport to "just kill, kill them all" doesn't last long. While panicking he executes a Russian prisoner and suffers heart attack shortly after.
One of the experienced soldiers snaps after a brutal firefight and beats mercilessly the captured Ukrainian collaborator. A few scenes later, it's revealed that the Ukrainian soldier was captured and tortured by that collaborator. The collaborator is released with no conditions by a sympathetic Ukrainian soldier, but is shot by the Russians as he makes his way across no-mans land.
The combat medic tries to pray, but eventually says that he couldn't do it because both sides appeal to the same God, and both sides are convinced that the God is with them. So, what's the point?
There are plenty of laugh out loud points in the movie. The guy is badly wounded, but before passing out he snaps a selfie. When he regains consciousness, the first thing he does is checks the likes on his Facebook page "23,000 not bad".
I'm 100% certain that the Russians will try to torpedo the movie's chances during the awards season by trumpeting that the movie glorifies neo-Nazis. While it's never revealed in the movie to what unit the troops belong to, it's fairly easy to determine that most of the soldiers are volunteers, and their commander, a former history teacher belongs to Right Sector aka Ukrainian Volunteer Army. Of course, the Ukrainian troops regardless of their political affiliations portrayed sympathetically in the movie and try to resolve their differences through dialogue, heated at that, but not violent while the opposing side is shown as completely indoctrinated longing for the times of the "glorious" USSR.
Well, this is all I got to say. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.
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- Release Date:
- 6 December 2017
- Directed By:
- Ahtem Seitablaev
- Run Time:
- 112 minutes
- Script written by:
- Natalya Vorozhbyt