The Weather Station (2010) – A Film Review
A case of the Paddy who went into the cold here, as Irishman Johnny O’Reilly helms this Russian mystery-drama set in yet another icy and remotely-based meteorological station (the other being How I Ended This Summer (2010)). Indeed, the two films initially seem to have much in common, with a nervous newbie in Romash (Pyotr Logachev) being pushed around here by a surly superior in Drozdov (Sergey Garmash). Their relationship then looks set to deteriorate even further when they receive some bad news. However, it is at this point that the two works start to diverge in terms of plot, with this one partially becoming a police procedural drama. This change occurs when the film suddenly skips forward forty-eight hours and the police, led by Andrey (Aleksey Guskov), are on-site trying to piece together what must have taken place during the intervening period.
Unquestionably well-made, this offering does suffer, though, from the use of a number of highly familiar “MacGuffin”s, not least the possibility that an abominable snowman is out there waiting to grind the bones of some Russians to make his bread. Perhaps more problematic again is the fact that the film falls down between two stools here, with it being neither especially suspenseful nor psychological in nature. Hence, as much as you can appreciate the quality of the acting, cinematography, original music score, editing, and so forth, there remains that inescapable sense here that this ultimately boils down to being the sort of drama that you have seen many times before in a variety of other guises. A pity really.
That said, Mr. O’Reilly is understood to be working on a new project that wants to challenge a few international perceptions of what life in Moscow is really like. As such, it definitely sounds intriguing already.