A dour yet emotionally poignant drama about two women seeking to survive, physically and psychologically, in post-WWII Soviet Union, Beanpole won’t give you the “cheery-cheeries” but deserves recognition nonetheless.
Beanpole follows an extra-tall nurse (nicknamed Beanpole) who, following the war, suffers from PTSD-fueled seizures that causes her to black out at unexpected times. Unfortunately this leads her to accidentally suffocating her roommate’s son to death, which in turn leads to a blackmail scheme where she “agrees” to be raped by her boss to have a replacement child.
Cheerful in a really fucked up, dark kind of way.
Beanpole continues from there in unpredictable fashion, a story built upon the strange and illogical actions of two women shaped by war in two drastically different and horrible ways. The third act doesn’t entirely hit home as it fails to live up to the expectations set early on, but Beanpole is an intriguing and complex character study nonetheless.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.