The last ten minutes of The Return are very uneasy for the viewer. Up to this point the film has had one intention, ratchet up the suspense and tell the very simple story. Two brothers return home to find in place the father they never knew. He then takes them on a journey which gets increasingly tough, the accepting brother is pitted against the cynical angry brother. It is simple, streamlined storytelling: barely an extraneous character appears. It all about the brothers, the father and the sometime harsh Russian landscape.

And then the conclusion is reached, shocking yet fitting. And the film does not tend. I expected a couple of minutes maybe of reflection. Perhaps a conversation about the events. Instead the film keeps going. This is no bad thing, the reminder that life goes on, that things are not as neat as the movies is not unwelcome. It sticks out though since the film had, up to this point, been so single-minded in pursuing its narrative objectives. With no narrative left to unwind the suspense actually increases. Something else even more serious has to happen is the thought which slowly drifted through my mind. And, in its own small way, it does.

I am in two minds about this final section. I was fidgeting I have to say. It did not provided the reflection that perhaps it was supposed to, since the suspense in the rest of film is derived from the juggling in the viewers mind of the three or four possible conclusions to the situation. Admittedly the last section contains the biggest (gratuitous) jolt of the film, but there is a point when I feared the thing would never end and just meander. Yet thus section also helps redress the balance of the previous ?perfect? storytelling, showing what happens to characters who previously have been locked into a narrative. And the characters were almost as uneasy and confused about where the film was going as I was.