“By the age of 30, Lena was able to achieve good results in life. She worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist. Colleagues respected, and happy patients tried to thank her. Her personal life also developed quite safely. Husband Sergei worked as an actor in a drama theater, showed concern and did not interfere in affairs, but recently she began to notice serious changes in his behavior. Another fact is that they did not have sex. One day she reads one of her husband’s text messages, she is convinced he is cheating on her. At one point, she does not stand up and in revenge cheats with a little-known man. For her, a new world unexpectedly opens up, filled with passion and incredible emotions, which she uses for her emotional state. But constant betrayal is becoming an integral part of double life.”

Director: Nigina Sayfullaeva
Writers: Lyubov Mulmenko, Nigina Sayfullaeva
Staring: Evgeniya Gromova, Aleksandr Pal, Marina Vasileva
Release Date: October 31, 2019 (Russia)

First off, this is the longest IMDB summary of a movie of all time. Like, what are we doing here?

Secondly, Infidelity (2019) is much more of a soft core porn movie than I expected. I didn’t watch the trailer beforehand. I read the VUDU synopsis and it looked like a character study of a bad marriage and at a sprinting 80 minutes, I was happy to rent quickly and view. Let me tell you folks…watching this movie on the train ride into work was uncomfy.

Third thing. I made a boo-boo. I did not know when I rented this movie that I was getting the dubbed English version. If I knew I would have taken the Russian version and just wanted it with subtitles. All of these things make for a very weird viewing experience for a very weird movie.

Infidelity is a story that follows Lena (Evgeniya Gromova) as she struggles to get a grip on her relationship with Sergei (Aleksandr Pal). She suspects him of cheating and the lack sexual activity in their marriage is one of many factors she is accounting for. Fueled by a seething hatred of being betrayed and a need to fulfill herself with confidence, Lena ventures out into the world of infidelity.

Lena’s escapades get her into a bit of trouble. There is a car accident, followed by a run in with the police, followed by a confrontation at work, followed by a massive fight at home. All of the steaminess that she infused into her life left her burnt and she is the one having to pick up the charred pieces. Infidelity follows her process of frustration and self-realization until the films finale where Lena is asked a question that highlights and emphasizes the new personality she has discovered.

Infidelity is not shy about the sex aspect of its story. Frontal nudity is a thing, and closeups on intimate acts are favorite shots of director Nigina Sayfullaeva. When I tell you not to watch Infidelity in a public place or with any family members, I mean it. It takes guts from the actors in this movie, most notably Evgeniya Gromova, to be that vulnerable in front of a camera. There is a lot of confidence needed, and that is confidence that I do not have.

Speaking candidly, I am ill equipped to speak on the acting and the screenplay in Infidelity because I watched the English-dubbed version. I can not pinpoint inflections, nor can I really nitpick any word choices because translations are a tricky thing. Speaking on the movie’s story, it is interesting in its premise, but hard to buy into. The idea of Lena wanting to branch out following heavy doubts of her partner cheating and discovering that she loves the idea of the power and the deception…and add on that the partner likes the idea that his wife is a whore…that is a development within this story that draws attention.

Can I recommend Infidelity on the whole? No, I can not. It was entertaining in spurts, but the small aspects of it that make it watchable are not enough to make it redeemable. It is a tough ask for anyone to watch a Russian movie with little action and no star power to engage in something that is not meant to be consumed by large audiences. Infidelity will keep you loyal to the type of movies you will love.

If you are looking for this movie, it is called Vernost in Russian.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


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