ELENA- A Woman's Secret Tool to Climb the Social Ladder...
Elena (2011) is a slow pace Russian portrayal of family relationships, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. It is a film which portrays love, negligence, incompetence, and greed. Before her marriage to Vladimir, Elena was a nurse by profession. Sergei, Elena's son from her first marriage, is unemployed, indifferent, and a drunkard. On the other hand, Katya, the daughter from Vladimir's first marriage, had a life that was disorderly and uncontrolled. The depth of Elena and Vladimir's relationship as husband and wife is not visible. They slept in different rooms. Elena often came to Vladamir's room every night to switch off the TV.
The differences between their two tastes are evident in their lifestyles. The director has highlighted their contrast in taste by showing different content programs on different television channels. There is not much conversation between the two. When a conversation took place, Elena's plea for financial support for her son Sergei and grandson Sasha is only seen.
Vladimir is a little annoyed by her behaviour. Elena's repeated attempts failed to convince him. Vladimir said that he had no sense of responsibility towards her previous family. Elena visits her son's family regularly. The relationship visible there is quite intriguing. The fact that the mother-son relationship has only become economic can be realized in those scenes. Her son's wife, Tatyana tries to keep Elena out of the negative mood of her son, Sergei, and grandson, Sasha. Sergei always talks about bringing money from Vladimir for Sasha's admission to the university, which cannot be borne by the unemployed and indifferent Sergei. Elena still loves her son's family. Perhaps she finds her own existence here!
Vladimir is rich. That is the distance of the relationship with her only daughter Katya. She lives a lonely chaotic independent life, overwhelmed by the lure of alcohol and reckless physical contact. Although no visualization of this narrative was observed, it is known in the scene of exchanging emotional feelings between father and daughter. After the father was hospitalized with a heart attack, his wife, Elena, requested that Vladimir's daughter be brought in.
Although Katya was annoyed, she finally agreed to go to the hospital to see her father. There is a difference of opinion between the two and the reason for the resentment of the relationship. Vladmir's negligence and atonement has been a major reason behind Katya's arbitrary lifestyle. Helpless Vladimir always understands the mistakes of his past, but he is reluctant to reveal it. Though he thought his daughter was ignorant of her responsibilities, he discovers his daughter's maturity in a closed room of the hospital. The girl is also trying to pull the reins of life. In this emotional scene, the relationship between a great father and daughter is revealed.
Elena, on the other hand, seems to be becoming more and greedier. After returning from the hospital, Vladimir realizes that he may not live long. Sick Vladimir wants to make a will. He is reluctant to share his property with his wife Elena. Elena also thinks that if the will is made; only Katya will enjoy all his assets! She will be deprived of her equal rights. So she cleverly kills Vladimir by mixing Viagra with his other tablets. Having been a nurse at one time, she knows very well how Viagra works on a patient who has heart ailments.
A scene shows Elena alone in a photo-frame hanging on the wall, where a photo of Elena and Vladmir was before. This cinematic approach is a great addition. Vladimir's death, however, is seen as very natural. No one doubts that Elena can do such a thing. According to Russian property law, Katya and Elena share Vladimir's estate. Katya may have guessed something, but she doesn't reveal it.
In the concluding scenes, Sergei and his family enter Vladimir's royal house. In this scene of occupation, Sergei informs that his wife Tatyana is pregnant again.
Grandmother Elena smiled happily. No one knows what Elena did! The director's frame captures the highly realistic Moscow life narrative in every layer of the film 'Elena'. Metaphor has been used there several times. The last scene is captured by matching the beginning scene of the film.
In fact, almost the same scene! But over time, that is likely to change. Sasha's peers are playing football under the house. Sergei's youngest daughter woke up after a football shot crossed the bar post on a player's head. Truly, a great combination of these two scenes! The slowness of telling a straightforward story seems to impress the audience. But while waiting for the mystery of Vladimir's death to be revealed, the veil of the story has to be seen. In keeping with the reality, the criminal wanders around openly. Nothing is known about the next situation of Katya. It is the same for Sasha's future! Will he join the university or the army? There is a fog in the north. And that's how the film ends, focusing on Vladimir's apartment.