Based on an important event in director Antonio Lukich’s life, Luxembourg, Luxembourg tells the story of twin brothers Kolya & Vasya setting out on a journey to see their long-absent father, who’s found sick in Luxembourg, one last time.
Everyone has a different bond with their parents, but when a parent leaves early on in a child’s life, will they grow up remembering the good or the bad parts about them? That’s what Luxembourg, Luxembourg tries to explore, while also fleshing out the lives of our two protagonists. Kolya, the more rebellious and problematic twin, drives a bus of elderly Ukrainians around, even though he hates every single one of his passengers. When one day an accident happens that leaves a woman with two broken arms and no one to take care of her, he has to figure out a way to stay out of prison and grow up – even if just for a little while.
Vasya on the other hand, is trying very hard to please everyone around him. If it’s not as a husband or parent, it’s at his job in the police force, where he’s doing everything he can to get promoted to detective. Unfortunately, his brother is the one screwing things up, making it harder for Vasya to step out of the shadows and really shine.
Lukich has a great eye for cinematic camera angles and directs a solid Ukrainian drama. Even though the story itself is bleak for the most part, there’s some laugh out loud moments to liven up the things. Entertaining as the entire film might be, looking back at it as a whole it does have a lot of plotholes and throws a lot of different plot devices at us to keep our attention. Most of the time, less is still more.
The Nasirov twins are perfectly cast, and are able to fully flesh out their characters through means of facial expressions and emotional depth in all sorts of situations. The editing and cinematography are particularly strong and make Luxembourg, Luxembourg an overall satisfying film to watch.
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), September 3, 2022. Running time: 105 min.
PRODUCTION: A ForeFilms production. Producers: Anna Sobolevska & Vladimir Yatsenko. Executive producer: Alexandra Bratyshchenko.
CREW: Director/writer: Antonio Lukich. Cinematography: Misha Lubarsky. Editing: Oleksandr Chornyi, Ivan Bannikov, Olexander Legostaev.
CAST: Amil Nasirov, Ramil Nasirov, Lyudmyla Sachenko.