T here is a rich candy of strangeness, of sadness and fear for this very absorbing film by Polish filmmaker Małgorzata Szumowska, co-written and directed with cinematographer Michał Englert. The title, incidentally, relates to an alleged theory impassively denounced on the closing credits according to which there will be nos of snowfall after the year 2025 due to the climate crisis. (I don't know if this is true, but I've never been so scared in my life. Maybe this movie should be played to the delegates at Cop26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow , so that 'they could all be terrified in action.)
The setting is a strangely empty suburban scene: an arrogant, prosperous but dysfunctional in a gated development, with an identical white McMansion -style houses whose occupants have all their secrets. This is actually the Ventana subdivision in Walendow, east of Poland , a place that looks so strangely uniform that an aerial shot makes itI don't look like a model, and an intrigue about drug-making teens reminds me a bit of American Beauty.
Locals are bored and dissatisfied, because of a Ukrainian masseur called Zhenia (Alec Utgoff), who comes to people with his fold-out massage table and administers physiotherapy and therapy. 'hypnotherapy and works wonders. Zhenia's ministries electrify everyone. But in this case, Zhenia is from Chernobyl, and he is plagued by agonizing dreams and memories of his mother and clouds of radioactive dust that looked like snow to him. As Zhenia makes her house calls in the suburbs, fall turns into winter, Halloween comes and goes and Christmas is approaching, but it's not snowing, even though it's very cold.
There is horrible psychic pain in the air: Zhenia can feel it. Maybe he cane heal. But perhaps it will involve great sacrifices. Utgoff's presence is clearly unsettling: he looks innocent, idealistic, slightly pained and ascetic, with the grace of a dancer and the mystery of a robot. It might be a bit like Terence Stamp in Pasolini's Theorem , but much softer and less intimidating. It's a fairy tale: but a fantasy with solidity and form.