Loveless is two hours of watching a divorcing couple argue viciously and search Moscow for their missing son, who they were considering putting in an orphanage anyway, while apocalyptic news broadcasts about the conflict in Ukraine play in the background. (ALSO, it's the middle of winter and the city looks like an arctic hellscape.) It's the most depressing movie I have ever seen. I felt horrible afterward and left with the urgent desire to rewatch Thor: Ragnarok.
When we meet Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin), both have already started building their new lives: He's gotten another woman pregnant, and she's met a rich older guy who takes her to fancy restaurants and fucks her against the floor-to ceiling windows in his apartment. Neither parent wants their angsty 12-year-old, Alexey (Matvey Novikov); Zhenya wishes she'd aborted him, and Boris clearly just wants a do-over with the whole family thing. Alexey overhears them fighting about who's taking him and runs away. They don't even notice he's gone for two freaking days. That's awkwardly convenient, because his disappearance gives them exactly what they wanted: a clean slate.
Loveless is peppered with long shots of people staring out windows or at their phones, which is probably a metaphor for something. Other oblique themes: decay, the hypocrisy of religion, the cyclical nature of bad parenting, and all the ways in which lovelessness begets more lovelessness. Zhenya and Boris just want happiness, and they're willing to abandon their own child in order to find it. Pretty bleak!
Throughout the film, even chronic pessimists (like me!) will find themselves defending humanity. The parents' selfishness, set against the backdrop of a bitter Russian winter and constant reminders that war is brewing nearby, is just too dark. I refuse to believe things are this irreparably fucked.