It’s 2012 in Moscow, and a marriage is swiftly unraveling. Boris (Rozin) and Zhenya (Spivak) have accumulated a mutual hatred they don’t even bother to hide. The main casualty is their twelve-year-old son Alyosha (Novikov), who hears everything and is increasingly distraught. Facing the end of their union, it seems neither parent particularly wants him or cares about his feelings. When Alyosha runs away in desperation, it takes some time before anyone even notices. Then the hunt is on to find the boy, the true victim of his parents’ selfishness and alienation. But will they find him alive?
This caustic, riveting drama sets the ugly dissolution of a marriage against the broader canvas of Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine at the time, adding more bitterness to this potent brew. Young Novikov makes us feel the intense hurt and frustration of a young boy powerless to stop the loss of his home and family, really all that he knows. Rozin and Spivak also register in highly unsympathetic roles. We don’t expect a happy ending here, and we don’t get one. A devastating portrait of cruelty and dysfunction within a corrupt society, “Loveless” will make you grateful for those fundamentals we sometimes take for granted: namely, our families and our freedoms.