In a decrepit Russian town, Dima (Bystrov) works as a plumber and lives in a shabby apartment with his wife, child and parents. Called to fix a burst pipe in a state-owned housing complex, he discovers a massive crack in the building and fears for the safety of its residents. Despite being told by his mother and wife not to get involved, he tracks down Nina Galaganova (Surkova), the town’s mayor, to warn her of the impending catastrophe.
Bykov’s third feature, a study in grim, socio-political realism, unfolds with classic “disaster flick” beats, allowing suspense to build gradually but steadily. Dima unwittingly becomes a crusading hero, a lone voice of reason fighting a broken system; somewhat surprisingly, the Russian Ministry of Culture supported this production. With “The Fool”, Bykov delivers an incisive, damning critique of his country’s corrupt oligarchy wrapped within a powerful, race-against-time thriller.