Film: “Siberia”; Director: Matthew Ross; Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ana Ularu, Pasha D. Lychnikoff and Molly Ringwald, Rating: *
Destructive, suicidal role selections have brought superstar Keanu Reeves’ Matrix-manoeuvred marvellous movie career to a grinding halt. “Siberia” is really the end of the road for the doomed Reeves… or is it? With him, we never know what depths of destruction he may plumb next.
“Siberia” is not just incomprehensible, incoherent, pretentious and perverse. It is worse. It’s a dreadful dull dishwater-level of filmmaking, posturing as something deep, dark and cryptic.
Reeves, looking thoroughly disoriented, travels down to Siberia for a tryst with some diamond merchants. Once in Siberia, there is little room for any warm contemplation of the protagonist’s predicament as he plunges into a carnal relationship with a cafe owner Katya (Ana Ularu).
I confess I had never watched Alaru’s work before. After seeing her in “Siberia”, I don’t think I missed out on much. In all fairness, her unimpressive chemistry with Reeves has a lot to do with the conversations that script forces her to have with the Tall Dark Bewildered stranger. Also, the fact that she is at least 20 years her co-star’s junior makes her look like a high-school girl taking tuition from her teacher for better grades.
“What would you say if said I wanted to sleep with you?” Alaru asks conversationally.
“You mean, now?” stammers Reeves.
He gets an affirmative. He then tells her he can’t oblige right away because he needs to go and look for his brother’s friend.
Do we really care whether Reeves finds the man he is looking for? Or whether the pair have sex eventually?
For the record, they do.
Siberia’s snow-capped desolation seems perfect for its lackluster script brimming over with corny lines and weird plot points where we see Reeves locking horns with various high-end ruffians. By the time the narration puts his head into resolving the mess, we are long gone looking for ways to kill the ennui that creeps and clamps its clammy claws around our heart.
Never again, Mr Reeves, I am not sitting through any of your films until you realise being different is different from being indifferent.
And that’s a better line than anything I heard in “Siberia”. But never visiting that part of the world.