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Parents' Guide to


By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Fantasy adventure has interesting ideas but lacks magic.

Movie NR 2020 110 minutes
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This movie has some interesting themes, and it's intriguing to draw parallels to oppressive regimes such as the Nazis, while injecting an element of fantasy and magic into the story. Yet while on paper this may work -- Abigail 's virus storyline being particularly timely in light of COVID-19 -- it's not particularly well told. The direction from Aleksandr Boguslavskiy -- who also co-wrote the script -- is conventional, and the acting, across the board, is underwhelming. The Russian-produced movie has a generic screenplay that struggles to work in the English language, giving off the feeling of a badly-dubbed advert, and would benefit had the actors been able to tell this story in Boguslavskiy's native tongue.

The special effects are not very impressive either, and perhaps given the limitations in the budget, less magical fight sequences would have been better so as not to put the spotlight on the evident lack of funds. But the story is interesting, as the blend of enchanting surrealism with the striking, dark realism of the ghetto the characters live in, makes for a unique feature film.

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