The Island of Cicadas film review

★★

Directed by: Oleg Maslov

Written by: Vera Arngold

Starring: Alexander Papykin, Alexander Shibalov, Ekaterina Zhukova, Natalia Lavrinenko

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Still Image from The Island of Cicadas

A story about a young man, struggling to make sense out of life and find his way.


Grigoriy is a twenty two-year-old wannabe poet. He is at a stage where he needs to decide what he wants to do with his life. He works in a restaurant and his parents are separated, his mother having remarried and his father has mental issues and is in a hospital. Grigoriy has friends and a girlfriend and socializes often, yet he still seems to feel incomplete and unsatisfied, finding solace and joy through poetry. He meets a woman named Alyona and even though she is in a relationship, the two of them develop a romantic relationship.


This low-budget, Russian drama film explores themes of self-discovery, romance, friendship and family. Grigoriy is a well-meaning person, although a bit socially awkward and he spends a great deal of time chatting with relatives and acquaintances and reciting poems. He also goes through a few misfortunes that involve getting beaten up twice and falling ill.


The protagonist does an OK job as a person who views life differently than most people, but generally the acting is not very realistic.


Maslov does a nice job as the director and creates some great establishing shots. There is a brief sequence that utilizes interesting cinematography and depicts a flashback, during which the image appears old, scratched and damaged. The soundtrack is amusing, consisting of various tunes.


For the sensitive viewers, it should be mentioned that there is a rather uncomfortable and disturbing scene that involves blood drinking.


It could be argued that it is unclear what the message is here. The characters are not engaging and the narrative is not intruiging enough to attract attention. This is an achievement that is unlikely to have a significant impact.

#JasonKnight