"St. John's Wort" is a good Russian thriller spoiled by boyish quotes

The very concept of a “Russian series about the police” has long become a kind of playful stereotype – dozens of such projects are released on central TV channels, and most of them are impossible to watch. But those created on streaming services are at least somehow working through.

On August 11, a new project “St. The first two episodes that were given to the press look intriguing. There are plenty of shortcomings in the story, though.

The series “St. John’s Wort” has a good detective line, but so far vague morality

There is a strange story with the synopsis of this project. Many movie sites have the same story description that Premier sends out. However, there are some pretty important spoilers mentioned in these two paragraphs. In the first episodes, everything described is a mystery that the viewer must figure out together with the characters. So it’s better not to explore such resources before viewing. And here we confine ourselves to more general words.

Oleg Khlebnikov (Pavel Chinarev), a capital investigator, is sent to work in a small taiga town for some fault. They are just reporting a missing student. The boy is found a few days later, tortured in an unconscious state. The search for the one who beat him leads the investigation to a whole chain of corpses and a very unusual maniac .

Since Deerslayer is a series with a solid plot (as opposed to procedurals, where there is a new case in each episode), it is rather difficult to judge the logic of what is happening from the first episodes. But so far the detective part looks curious. True, sometimes the authors seem to be lazy, and the characters literally fall on the next piece of evidence, or even the body of the murdered. But at the same time, there are really interesting moments when Khlebnikov solves riddles due to his powers of observation. Alas, the viewer is shown the answers to some questions in advance.

There are also sadly realistic scenes. For example, the police finds a bicycle in the forest. And the investigator over and over again asks everyone whose it could be. But the rest simply do not pay attention to the evidence, wanting to close the case as soon as possible. It’s just not yet clear: is the fact that the bike is absolutely clean, a blunder of decorators or an important detective element?

Frame from the series “St. John’s wort”

From the second series it is already clear that the plot of “Deerslayer” is gradually leaning towards moral dilemmas in the spirit of “Dexter”. It is not for nothing that the authors initially draw parallels between the relationship between people and the animal world, where predators prey on herbivores. After all, even the name of the series itself is ambiguous: it is both a plant that is found at the crime scene, and a hint that some of the dead in the understanding of the killer are just animals.

For some reason, there are doubts that in terms of ambiguous morality, the series will be able to at least somewhat approach the Russian ” Execution ” or the same “Dexter”. But I want to believe that the authors will be able to surprise.

The central character of “St. John’s Wort” looks interesting, but the rest are flat

In the opening scene of Deerslayer, police officers are relaxing on the shore of a reservoir and discussing how nature works. And already with the phrase “Who has more reason to be afraid? The one who kills, or the one who is killed? the series is turning into a terrific purveyor of quotes for boyish publics. At least add a photo of a wolf to the excerpts and write “auf” at the end.

Frame from the series “St. John’s wort”

Probably, this is how they try to better show the problems of the province, where the principle of life “according to concepts” still prevails. But the sense of proportion and the elementary taste of the authors are often changed. And yet, the 90s have long ended even in the taiga .

But the main disadvantage is not in this. And not even in the fact that mediocre actors play the supporting roles, mechanically reading the text. The most embarrassing thing is that the creators were too lazy to think through most of the central characters. Their images seemed to be described in three lines in the script: one will be a typical rude boss, the other a dumb kid. It is curious to see only Alexander Loye, whom everyone remembers from Yeralash, and then from the TV series Next with Alexander Abdulov.

Frame from the series “St. John’s wort”

But the main character is interesting. And it looks like it will continue to open up. Khlebnikov does not give a damn about his life, he is ready to break the law in the name of justice. In general, he is somewhat reminiscent of the protagonist of ” Luther “. And this analogy was able to convey much better than in the official remake called “Klim”. It is a pity that the character has to exist surrounded by masks, and not by living people.

“St. John’s wort” perfectly shows the gloomy atmosphere of the province

Perhaps, this component will seem to someone as a disadvantage. Or the author will be completely accused of excessive love for the “dirt” on the screen. But the depressive atmosphere of a dying city in “St. John’s Wort” is excellently conveyed. And this applies to all components.

Frame from the series “St. John’s wort”

The action of the series is not limited to two or three locations, there are a lot of interesting landscapes, all gloomy and with a touch of devastation. Old wooden doors in the hospital, dusty offices of the police station, barracks, warehouses – everything is shown very vividly and, alas, believable. Moreover, the picture is often flooded with a gray-green filter that kills any hint of positive. Even the clothes of the characters create the feeling of not movie props, but simply things from a neighboring market.

Sometimes you want to scold the authors for some pretentiousness of filming: yes, recently everyone has learned to shoot from drones, but such shots are far from always needed (this, by the way, also applies to Western cinema). There is a problem with editing in individual scenes: the cuts seem rough, and the characters in the frame seem to change places. But these are just a few quibbles. In general, there is little to break the gloomy atmosphere.

Frame from the series “St. John’s wort”

Judging by the first episodes, St. John’s Wort, like many Russian TV series, turned out to be heterogeneous. Here is an interesting central character, but flat secondary characters, good plot twists, but an abundance of clichéd phrases. Still curious what will happen next. So, probably, the authors managed to put everything right.

Read also ⬜🟦🟥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.