Review: ÁGA Is A Beautiful And Minimalistic Tale

FIRST IMPRESSION

Honest and beautiful, Ága is unlikely to appeal to mainstream audiences, but its elegant simplicity will make it an art house favorite.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Ága, co-written and directed by Milko Lazarov, is a new slice-of-life film that is among the most gorgeous you will see all year. Although the meandering pace of the story will likely be trying for some audiences, the beautiful cinematography makes it a movie that is absolutely worth watching.

The film follows a couple living on the icy tundra as the world changes around them and one of them faces illness, sending the other on a journey to reconnect with their daughter who left years ago. The movie’s environmentalist messages are not too subtle — mysterious animal deaths and melting ice play a significant role in the film — but they are delivered impactfully by this simple yet effective story.

The thing that is likely to put off most potential viewers to this movie is the slow pacing. Although the film is never boring, there are long sequences with minimal dialogue and a lot of the movie is comprised of watching the characters go about their daily routines. It takes about an hour before the actual plot begins to kick in, but that first hour is where a majority of the most meaningful messaging comes across.

However, one area in which the film could have improved is its character development. Over the course of the movie, we do eventually come to appreciate the characters and the struggles that they are facing, but the movie lacks the personal touch which separates the good slice-of-life films from the great ones.

aga tundra

Nevertheless, the actors do an excellent job in their roles. Mikail Aprosimov and Feodosia Ivanova both give very naturalistic and believable performances. The chemistry that the two of them have together is excellent, and they are able to give the movie a much-needed grounding. A significant part of why the film is watchable despite the crawling pace is that Aprosimov and Feodosia light up the screen.

Because of the actors’ strong performances, the movie is able to have the intended emotional impact despite the not always effective character development. The final scene, in particular, resonates quite well. Granted, those who are unable to get absorbed into the film’s world early on may not feel the same attachment, but for the most part, it is an effective scene.

Of course, it is on a visual level that this movie succeeds the most. The cinematography is phenomenal, taking full advantage of the beautiful tundra setting to create shots that are thoroughly appealing to the eye. Since the story may fail to capture the attention of some audience members, it is nice that the visuals likely will.

Ága may have some narrative issues, but those shortcomings are largely masked by the wonderful performances and visuals that the film has to offer. Though its future will likely remain with its core niche art house audience, this movie will be remembered by those who are meant to enjoy it.

Ága opens in theaters on September 6.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Room 104: Check In With Mark Duplass (Season 4 Episode 2) | HBO

Check in with co-creator, writer, director and actor Mark Duplass. Watch Room 104 on Fridays at 11PM on HBO. #Room104 #HBO #Room104HBO #MarkDuplass Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 ROOM 104 returns for its fourth and final season exclusively on HBO. Created by Mark and Jay Duplass, the late-night, half-hour anthology series returns with 12…

Get Duked! – Official Redband Trailer | Prime Video

Dean, Duncan and DJ Beatroot are teenage pals from Glasgow who embark on the character-building camping trip — based on a real-life program — known as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, where foraging, teamwork and orienteering are the order of the day. Eager to cut loose and smoke weed in the Scottish Highlands, the trio…

‘The Trap’ Ep. 4 Preview | P-Valley | STARZ

Mercedes and Autumn make major moves toward building new lives for themselves. At the Pynk, gossip spreads like wildfire, and patrons flood in for a big night. Watch new episodes of P-Valley Sundays on STARZ. #PValley #STARZ Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Get your free trial of the STARZ app: https://starz.tv/3fxSxUd Like STARZ…

Game On: A Comedy Crossover Event | Official Trailer | Netflix

Let's put the fun in family dysfunction. Our favorite family sitcoms (Family Reunion, Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love, The Big Show Show and Mr. Iglesias) tag team to uphold their family legacies in a summer crossover competition so hot it could light the Olympic torch. From old foes to shade throws, take a break from…

Axios on HBO: President Donald Trump (Promo) | HBO

In the next #AxiosOnHBO, President Donald Trump discusses his recent Tulsa rally, his thoughts on COVID-19 testing, and the upcoming election with Axios political reporter Jonathan Swan. #AxiosOnHBO returns Monday at 11pm.#HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Known for delivering news, coverage, and insight with a distinctive brand of smart brevity, Axios on HBO…

Antoni Cooks for Kiernan Shipka + a Dog Date | Netflix

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski cooks for Kiernan Shipka and meets her dog, in this episode of 'Show Me What You're Working With' - where Antoni goes one-on-one with fans who are looking for help cooking with whatever ingredients are in their kitchens. Watch Queer Eye, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81046040 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is…

Bili Bili | World’s Toughest Race

This ancient mode of transportation for the local Fijians, proves to be difficult for the athletes as they need to construct their own Bili Bili’s and make their way down the river during the World’s Toughest Race. From the creator of Survivor, 66 teams descend upon Fiji to compete in the most epic global adventure…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here