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Country: Canada, United States
Stars: Jay Baruchel, Colm Feore, Saul Rubinek, Domini Blythe, Michael Murphy, Emily Hampshire
Eye candy: Hampshire, Jessica Pare
Director: Jacob Tierney
Run time: 113 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
The Trotsky starts out as a very charming movie about a young man (Jay Baruchel) who believes he is the reincarnation of one of the Russian Revolution’s legendary leaders, Leon Trotsky. Young Leon is basically a nut. He tries to find a revolution of his own, staging hunger strikes at his father’s office, and generally making a nuisance of himself. He is so committed to the belief that he IS Trotsky, that he believes his own life will follow the exact path of his hero’s life.
Baruchel is effective, and charmingly weird in a role that really suits his particular persona (which changes very little from movie to movie). Even better is Emily Hampshire as Alexandra. She’s a much older woman (she’s 27 – Leon is 17) who becomes the object of his pursuit when he discovers she has the same name as Trotsky’s wife. She is gradually pulled into Leon’s insanity, and finds something in him interesting and maybe even intriguing enough to give it a go. I could certainly see that in him too.
But just as I started to really enjoy Leon and Alexandra and their bonkers connection, the movie seems to start spinning its wheels, leading to a rather disappointing conclusion where Leon does the only obvious thing – stages a general strike at his school, leading a demonstration against school officials, and so forth. It kind of feels like a sillier (make that even sillier) version of the ending to Pump Up The Volume.
I would say the last 20 minutes of The Trotsky are disappointing. The movie spent so long building up goodwill and charm that to go through the standard-movie-ending motions in this way lets a lot of air out of the balloon. So I’m recommending The Trotsky on the strength of the first 70 minutes only. It comes out October 5th from Alliance Films.