Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Charles Dance, Sam Reid
Director: Shamim Sharif
Running Time: 93 mins
Despite The Falling Snow is a British film about a young woman who travels to Moscow to uncover the history of her birth mother, who mysteriously disappeared in the era of the Soviet Union decades before.
The Cold War, or even its legacy, is always a great way to instil a bit of tension and drama before a movie even gets going, particularly when set amidst the falling snow of Moscow. However, Despite The Falling Snow is a staggeringly drab depiction of the legacy of the Cold War, with a dull story that fails to capture either the real or the Hollywoodified atmosphere of the conflict, instead dragging on with very little motivation throughout.
And that’s despite a strong cast and crew, which features Rebecca Ferguson, Charles Dance and more, directed by Shamim Sharif, who wrote the award-winning novel that this movie is based on.
It seems strange that Sharif is unable to translate the seeming brilliance of the book to screen, because Despite The Falling Snow is one of the most dull dramas I’ve seen in quite a while, languishing about and doing little to grab you beyond its time and geographical setting.
Meanwhile, as the film switches between modern day and flashbacks of the time when Ferguson’s mother was alive in the Soviet Union, it also proves moderately confusing given that Ferguson plays both characters – the mother and the daughter.
While costume design serves as the main way to tell them apart, it’s very easy to briefly mistake one for the other given that Ferguson’s performance is almost identical in both roles, with little else in terms of visual or narrative techniques to distinguish the two.
Simple things like that prove a real distraction in the midst of what is otherwise a very slow-moving and uninteresting story, meaning it’s difficult to keep focus as you watch Despite The Falling Snow, something that only worsens the distractions as mentioned above. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 5.7 overall.