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Movie Review: Kyank ou Kriv (The Line)

By Marina Babayan

Wars have been taking place in the world throughout the centuries. Battle, deaths and loses are all familiar to most Armenians. We’ve heard stories about our heroes who have sacrificed their lives to save the nation.

This image of bravery and patriotism combined with a strong sense of friendship and love could not have been portrayed better than in the recently released movie Kyank ou Kriv (The Line)”.  

The film pictures life in Yerevan in the 1990s and the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is an emotional and breathtaking story that reflects the lives of so many Armenian soldiers and their beloved ones. It is impossible to watch the movie without smiling at the scenes of friendly gatherings, laughing at the small jokes of the main characters, or crying with every terrifying episode of the devastating war that was happening on the front lines.

Tigran, the main protagonist, appears as an ordinary Armenian guy who cannot find enough bravery to achieve his dreams. He remains uncertain in all his decisions: both the big ones - like moving away from Armenia, and the simple ones - like expressing his feelings to the girl he likes. However, he has a strong bond with his friends, who mean the world to him, and after a while he joins the solders and fights his fears by learning new things from his sad, but at the same time, exciting journey.

Despite the nerve-wrecking content, The Line also includes everyday life scenes, during which the viewer could calm down for a moment and just enjoy a small sight of joy. One of those nice and memorable scenes was when four friends were sitting on the rooftop somewhere in Yerevan and playing carts while the sister of one of the guys brought them sandwiches and joked around about their friendship. The scene was so simple and innocent, filmed around a great view of Mt. Ararat. It was a way of showing that you don’t need much to be happy.

Unlike many modern Armenian films, The Line represents the history and the reality of the past at its best. It is evident that a lot of effort was put into the performance of the characters as well as the great quality of filmmaking.

I was astonished by the natural performance of the actors and how they made me feel as if it was happening to them. The actors were completely into their characters as they managed to represent all their feelings, mental state and worldview by their dialogues and acting techniques. They managed to show how calm and bonded the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were, even though there was war going on. The usage of language, the settings and the overall representation of the 1990s was done very professionally and credibly.

Another major applause for the new, amazing quality of filming. Every war scene was filmed from different angles, which made me feel as if I was there with them. Not only were the settings perfect, but also the special effects, such as bombings and shootings.

In a September 10 article in Bravo.am, Mher Mkrtchyan, the director of the movie, explains that the film is dedicated to the Four-Day War of April 2016 in Nagorno-Karabakh. In the article, he explains that it was important to include new actors into this production, which is what Mkrtchyan did. Those young, talented actors managed to show us characters so sincere and deep, brave and lost, happy and scared, as if the actors themselves had experienced those tragic moments.

This movie deserves an award. It is one of the most successful and honest Armenian films that was shot recently. I believe that with a strong desire to feature such important stories along with talented, new actors and professional crew, our films will continue carrying emotional and thought-provoking content which will make us laugh and cry and believe in love, friendship and peace. 

The Line premiered in Yerevan on September 20 and will run until November 9.

(Marina Babayan is a third-year student at the American University of Armenia, majoring in English and Communications. Writing is her passion - creating feature stories, reporting news, or just jotting down everyday life events in journals is what inspires her to become a journalist in the future.)

Comments (1)

Thank you for great movie recommendation and for very good preface of the movie. However, one minor comment: let's call the place of war our way, Armenian way. It has a name, a beautiful one: Artsakh. Regards,

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