‘Despite the Falling Snow’ Movie ReviewCategory: Movies
The cold war is at it’s coldest in the movie Despite the Falling Snow. The story focuses on spying in the time of the USSR with the KGB killing anyone associated with spies. This film pulled me in from the beginning when a top Soviet official, Alexander (Sam Reid) defects to the U.S.A. while on a diplomatic mission, leaving behind his beloved wife Katya (Rebecca Ferguson) who was supposed to join him in America.
Katya never joined him and the story of what happened between these two lovers plays out throughout the film. The movie jumps back and forth between the past and the present. In the present, Alexander (Charles Dance) is a successful man who has taken care of his niece Lauren (also played by Rebecca Ferguson). Lauren is an artist and is taking her exhibit to Russia, against the will of Alexander. Nevertheless, Lauren is insistent about going to Russia to finally find out what happened to Katya, the love of her uncle’s life and his one regret in life.
Katya was a spy working for the Americans when she met Alexander, aka Sasha. Even though he was her “mark” she fell in love with him. He had no idea she was a spy. His best friend Misha (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) was Katya’s handler, also unbeknownst to Sasha. This high-level Soviet diplomat was surrounded by American spies. Sooner or later it was bound to come out and he would take the fall.
As the story jumps back and forth between the past and the present, viewers see the relationships growing and the blanks get filled in, so by the end of the film all is revealed. It is interesting to see Ferguson play both parts – the American spy and the young American looking for information about the American spy. While it might sound confusing, it really isn’t. I just caution the audience to remember that the film does seamlessly jump from the past to the present and vice versa, so pay attention to the age of the characters and the hair and wardrobe.
This is no James Bond spy film. Instead, it is a dramatic look at a love that transcended boundaries. It is a look at two people who had different ideas about their country yet in the end they were the same. It is a compelling story and kept my interest throughout.
Ferguson says about her two roles, “Both Katya and Lauren are strong, independent women. Both had parents that died when they were young.” She says about Katya, “Katya wants to destroy the system that killed her dissident parents, and so Misha finds the perfect recruit to be a spy because of everything Katya was brought up to believe. But she also truly loves Alexander and she’s prepared to sacrifice everything to save him.”
About her other character, the actress says, “Lauren has grown up with the mystery surrounding the loss of her aunt, so for her it’s an inherited grief. She wants to know what happened to Katya because everyone sees them as being very similar and she feels her aunt is still in some way living through her.” She adds, “Her family is Russian and she wants to know about her roots.”
Ferguson is an Ingrid Bergman-style actress. If this film were produced back in her day, Bergman would have been the obvious choice.
Despite the Falling Snow is an absorbing tale of family, the Cold War, and mostly true love. It’s rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence. It opens in theaters March 31, 2017 and on demand.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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