Siimon Rampe 24. juunil 2013

The Idiot (Idioot) is the story of a naive man, based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name. It is an impressively stylised piece of work that takes on elements of the surreal, Estonian theatrical tradition and even German Expressionism.

With a domestic theatrical release and an international premiere at the Busan International Film Festival, 'Idioot' followed in the footsteps of The Temptation of St. Tony (produced by the same company and still to be shown at kino!) and proved popular on the festival circuit.

The film follows Prince Myshkin, who comes to stay with a distant relative after a spell in a sanatorium caused by his epilepsy. He soon becomes entranced with the beauty of Nastassya Filippovna, a damaged woman who has drawn the affections of many men including the fiercely jealous Rogo¾in. But whilst Myshkin is falling for Nastassya Filippovna he also begins to have feelings for the artist Aglaja. Soon Myshkin earns the enmity of Rogo¾in and finds that trying to be a good person in a fundamentally bad world may be idiocy indeed.

Superficially faithful to the novel (though Russian literature aficionados may find too many narrative layers have been dispensed with), this is marked by some impressive acting (especially from Risto Kübar and Tambet Tuisk in the lead male roles) and equally impressive (and grandiose) set design that manages to offset some of the theatricality at the heart of proceedings. Mention must also be given to the eclectic soundtrack that manages to take in classical, 1960s beat and '80s pop that adds an extra air of weirdness to the film.

While you are waiting for the film, consider as there are many differences between writing and reading, reading and watching, there are also differences between watching and watching. Therefore if one hasn't read The Idiot as a book, one needs not just to watch the film, but also to read it. 'Idioot' the film however, has enough verve and inventiveness to make it a unique and enjoyable literary adaptation.

Staring: Risto Kübar, Katariina Unt, Tambet Tuisk

Food and drinks are served at Estonian House on the night.

Doors open at 6pm and the main film rolls at 7pm.

Tickets are $7 pp at the door.

SES members $5.