Those of you who actually read my reviews will know that I am generous with my praise of films... but that said, I rarely consider a film to be perfect. I have just watched one such film; The Return. This Russian film tells the story of two brothers who were raised by their mother. After a 10 year absence their father returns from out of the blue and takes them away on a short holiday. The boys don't know where they are going and are apprehensive of this stranger who has just entered their lives. He is strict and merciless and puts the two sons to the ultimate test. Isolated in the wilderness the three of them hardly communicate and live off the bare necessities. This is a haunting and stark moviegoing experience. So much is left unsaid and frustration plays an overwhelming part in the journey. I imagine a lot of viewers will hate it though but I won't mention why. Cinematically its beautiful. Every shot is perfectly framed and gentle pans slowly sweep across the landscapes. The tone is grey, wet and dreary adding a sombre mood to an already gloomy story. It's superbly acted and adding a sad note to a beautiful film is that fact that the actor who played the eldest brother drowned only days after finishing the film. He never got to see it finished. His performance is elevated.