To The Lake Review: Star Cast: Viktoriya Agalakova, Viktoriya Isakova, Kirill Käro, Natalya Zemtsova, Eldar Kalimulin, Michael C. Pizzuto, Aleksandr Robak, Maryana Spivak, Yuriy Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Yatsenko, Saveliy Kudryashov
Director: Pavel Kostomarov
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Streaming On: Netflix
To The Lake Review: What’s The Story? And How’s The Screenplay?
After Moscow gets hit by a deadly virus and the situation is declared as an epidemic, Sergey (Kirill Käro) along with his ex-wife Ira (Maryana Spivak), son Anton (Saveliy Kudryashov), lover Anna (Viktoriya Isakova) and her autistic son Misha (Eldar Kalimulin) must run out of the city to a safe place. While they are joined by Sergey’s father Boris (Yuriy Kuznetsov) & neighbours Lyonya (Aleksandr Robak), his pregnant wife Marina (Natalya Zemtsova) & daughter Polina (Viktoriya Agalakova), the road is tougher than anyone can imagine. Yes, there are dying and badly infected zombie kind of people the group has to save themselves from, it’s also important to stay out of the reach of robbers roaming around and exploiting people in the disguise of military men.
As they head ‘to the lake’ (a remote and safe place) they have decided for themselves, what emotional, physical and mental obstacles they have to face is the story all about.
Roman Kantor’s screenplay is so gripping and fast that it didn’t feel like I was binge-watching an 8-hour approx long show. It’s one of those very few shows which I’ve really enjoyed watching straight from start till end.
While To The Lake always keeps you hooked, the best part is that it hardly ever loses its pace. It’s a Russian show and I am an Indian but never ever did it lose me as a viewer for even a minute. There’s always something going on the screen which keeps you interested as a viewer. Yes, that’s happening here despite all of us being fed with so much pandemic and disaster stories in this year.
Now you ask me what’s new in this pandemic/epidemic story? And to start with I’ll tell you that people here in this show are not quarantining or staying indoors. There’s so much panic around about the fast-spreading deadly virus that it’s more convenient for them to run. It’s definitely heart-breaking and disturbing to see people running to save their lives but not something we have seen this year.
The drama is very well written and so are its characters. As you feel in a certain way for some characters, wait because you will get to know why they are like they are. I loved the fact that it has so much emotional depth despite being a thriller. The subplot of Misha & Polina’s romance is enticing as well as heart touching. Also, full marks to their chemistry. I can’t remember when was the last time I found s*xual scenes in a show really arousing. They work because they have been very well shot and are extremely relatable. Also loved the n*de scenes because they have been so esthetically shot. There’s one more couple in the show whose chemistry and romance is really adorable. I won’t name them because it’ll be a spoiler. I, in fact, was looking forward to seeing more of the romantic moments in the show but I know that wasn’t possible because it isn’t a complete romantic film.
To The Lake is full of some amazingly written and presented scenes. While there are some beautiful ones, there are also those which will break your heart. It perfectly depicts how humans behave in a strange way when there are desperate times. Something which was also brilliantly shown in Into The Night. But at its core, the show is also about hope in the most hopeless situations.
The camera work is stylish and locations are mesmerising. David Khayznikov’s cinematography is excellent. He has presented the snow-filled Russia’s beauty in an extremely enchanting way. Background score is another plus. Big thumbs up to the song which plays when Polina seduces Misha.
To The Lake Review: How Are The Performances & Direction?
To The Lake is rich on performances part as well because everyone has done a commendable job. While Kirill Käro, Natalya Zemtsova have performed amazingly, Eldar Kalimulin, Maryana Spivak, Aleksandr Robak & Viktoriya Agalakova also shine throughout the show.
Pavel Kostomarov has given a fabulous direction. He has truly made a show which deserves a high recommendation.
To The Lake Review: Final Verdict
To The Lake is a gem on Netflix which you don’t want to miss out on. Watch it for the thrill that it provides but don’t let it go if you are a hopeless romantic.
Rating: Four Stars