Extremely Russian. We meet an unremarkable, basically decent guy, and then watch as everything that could go wrong in his life does, all before a moody arctic backdrop of blue-gray mist, gray-green ocean, black basalt, winter-battered buildings, rusty machinery, and weak light from oil lamps.
Why would you put yourself through this? Well, if you are someone who doesn’t believe that the contemporary world is run by a transnational kleptocratic cabal, this might help you see the light. If you’ve already got that message, then you watch this for the spectacular acting and the grandeur of the landscape. I also think it’s just salubrious to sometimes take in some culture that doesn’t apologize for being serious. We don’t get a lot of that out of Hollywood.