Review: Two in One – Dva v odnom (2007)


Directed by: Kira Muratova | 124 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Alexander Bashirov, Sergey Bekhterev, Natalya Buz’ko, Renata Litvinova, Nina Ruslanova, Bogdan Stupka

‘Two in One’ is a confusing and weird film about a theater group where some people are killed but who then perform a play for the audience. Then as a film viewer you also watch the play of the theater group. So two in one.

It starts with a suicide on the scene. Or is it suicide? An actor has still hung himself on stage with his costume. A clumsy stagehand finds him and takes him down. That turns out to be a big mistake. He is hung back up and then taken down again. Piece by piece, the members of the theater group come to see the dead person to say goodbye. Although, it seems as if they don’t realize it all because there is no sadness. Or is it all play? After all, it is a theater group. In short: all confusion.

If there is then another death, no attention is paid to it at all. It’s time to start the play. This is where part two of the film begins. A man lives with his daughter. He is looking for true love and will do anything for it. Although fortunately nothing is shown or said explicitly, director Kira Muratova makes it clear that the relationship between father and daughter is an incestuous one. Dangerous point, because this topic is pretty taboo. As a viewer you still have a strange feeling about this. When the daughter also invites her friend to please her father, the film changes from a small to a large question mark.

Muratova has already won many awards at film festivals, especially in Russia and Ukraine, but she also won awards at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival. Expectations are therefore high for a Muratova film. However, ‘Two in One’ is a bit strange and it is certainly not a movie to watch. The two stories in the film are so separate that it is difficult to find a line between them. It is as if you are suddenly watching another movie after an hour. The only thing in common is that they are both equally bizarre stories, although the story of the play is the most extreme. ‘Two in One’ is not suitable for viewers who don’t like bizarre, strange and horrible storylines, who are taboo and perhaps should have stayed that way.

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