“A Dark, Dark Man” is about in a stretch of Kazakhstan the place few folks appear to stay, but corruption pervades each nook.
When this police procedural, directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov (“Yellow Cat”), premiered in 2019, it was an everyday function movie. Its distributor has carved it into three episodes for streaming functions. That’s unlucky, as a result of its pacing and visible fashion — a lot of the motion unfolds in lengthy shot — are clearly designed for big-screen immersion.
For its first third, “A Dark, Dark Man” points grim revelations with breathtaking rapidity. Poukuar (Teoman Khos), a gullible native, is coerced by a mysterious man into offering proof that will probably be used to border him for the rape and homicide of an orphan boy. (We later study that the boy is the fourth such sufferer.) Bekzat (Daniyar Alshinov), the detective antihero, arrives on the scene to research what now seems to be like an open-and-shut case.
In this district, suspects tend to be discovered lifeless earlier than trials. Bekzat can’t stage Poukuar’s suicide so simply, although, after a journalist, Ariana (Dinara Baktybayeva), turns as much as accompany Bekzat on the investigation. She may even push him to pursue the lurking serial killer in earnest.
The thriller side is dealt with obliquely. The movie is extra of a temper piece, and a lot of its pitch-black humor derives from the distinction between the barren panorama and the sheer variety of horrors it incorporates. (When Bekzat and Ariana arrive in a village, an previous lady greets him: “You killed my son. Two years ago. During questioning.”) Only the closing moments appear much less nervy.
A Dark, Dark Man
Not rated. In Kazakh and Russian, with subtitles. Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes. Watch on MHz Choice.