Drama films

Petrov’s flu review – a feverish and deeply Russian head trip | Drama movies

Jhe term “fever dream” – used to describe the giddy, boozy, fuzzy-edge kind of cinema that defies easy categorization – is rather overused in film criticism, seen in the case of Petrov flu, with its sickly delirium, disconcerting hallucinogenic tangents, and a central character who spends most of the film coughing up his lungs, it’s fitting. Long, disorienting shots, with camera work that oozes rather than drips like slowly congealing blood, take us from desperate buses stuffed full of passengers, germs and cigarette smoke to party parties. grotesque children, a twisted memory in the overheated brain of Petrov (Semyon Serzin).

The film is set in what could be a day but could be decades, in post-Soviet Russia. Petrov, a comic book writer, is half estranged from his wife, Petrova (Chulpan Khamatova), a librarian who has violent fantasies of retaliation imposed on members of the local poetry club. Or maybe fantasies are turning into reality and she’s genuinely steeped in the blood of a client whose loan history has sparked her ire.

Like many in this heady and disreputable film, Petrova’s extracurricular activities are open to multiple interpretations. It might be the most Russian thing ever, and it’s certainly not a soothing viewing experience. But there is still something eerily fascinating about it.