Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly not happy about this movie. He does not like it that Leviathan depicts a corrupt government, a system of law that rewards the powerful and crushes those who stand in its way.
Leviathan is the dramatic story of an auto mechanic, Kolya, who lives in a fishing village on the Berants Sea. The mayor wants his land, his business, and his house. When Kolya turns down his offer to buy the property, the mayor resorts to methods both brutal and deadly.
In a scene that is shocking in its viciousness and total lack of compassion, a giant construction crane destroys the house Kolya has built with his own hands. It crashes down onto the roof, then bites into the front of the building, swinging the maw from side to side, taking down whole sections, destroying everything in its path. The table where Kolya sat with his wife and son, the windows that looked out onto the water, the lace curtains, the flower pots, the dishes, all are destroyed.
A leviathan, you realize, is not simply a monster from the deep. It is a crane that destroys what a man has built. It is a government that tramples its citizens.
Leviathan was nominated as one of the best foreign films of the year. It is a masterful piece of movie-making.