Solid perfs and intriguing theme suffer from radiation poisoning

The Half Life of Timofey Berezin

on November 17, 2007 by Susan Green
Even fine acting and a social conscience don't necessarily give The Half Life of Timofey Berezin — which director Scott Z. Burns adapted from a prize-winning short story by Ken Kalfus — what it needs to work well on the big screen. The title character ( In America 's Paddy Considine) is dying in what was once the Soviet Union. A 1995 nuclear technician, he's been zapped with a lethal dose of radiation. After post-Perestroika government officials refuse to acknowledge responsibility, Timofey tries to sell stolen weapons-grade plutonium to provide for his soon-to-be-widow (Radha Mitchell) and young son. The desperate plan puts him in the company of some nasty crooks: Vlad (Jason Flemyng), Tusk (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and crime boss Starkov (Steven Berkoff). Shiv (Oscar Isaac), the only non-sociopath among them, isn't particularly safe from the chaos that ensues. This sad but intriguing premise wanes in a mish-mash of attempted Russian accents and clumsy storytelling. Distributor: Picturehouse
Cast: Paddy Considine, Radha Mitchell, Oscar Isaac, Jason Flemyng, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Steven Berkoff, Jordan Long and Melanie Thierry
Director/Screenwriter: Scott Z. Burns
Producers: Charlie Lyons, Miranda de Pencier and Guy Jon Louthan
Genre: Drama
Rating: R for language, violence, sexual content and brief drug use
Running time: 109 min.
Release date: March 2007
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