Major Grom: Plague Doctor is pleasant entertainment with an exciting enigmatic plot, a solid cast, and an unexpected twist.
This review of the Netflix film Major Grom: Plague Doctor does not contain spoilers.
“Freedom of expression is the basic human’s right,” they said.
Let’s talk about freedom of expression. Imagine a world where everyone has the right to express their thoughts, ideas, behaviors, and identities without anyone reinforcing and restricting ideas nor putting rules in our life. Imagine a world where you can be both good and evil, and nobody seems to care—a world of liberty and celebration of everyone’s uniqueness, without boundaries. You can be anything you imagine! It seems like a perfect world.
Well, before you imagine any further, Igor Grom is here to ask you to think about it.
Major Grom: Plague Doctor is a thrilling Netflix Russian film with interesting superhero tropes and elements, a solid cast, an exciting plot, and a fun cinematic experience that will never leave you bored! It is adapted from Arytom Gabrelyanov’s comic book series with the same name published by Russian publisher Bubble Comic. Oleg Trofim is stepping up his game for the Russian industry with sophisticated CGI and screenplays.
The story’s concept is not a new thing in the superhero-themed film, but it is still refreshing. The references to DC Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are strong within the movie. It is like a reinvention of Batman and Joker‘s cinematic with a touch of V for Vendetta. The scoring is entirely written in Russian, with a harmonious and dynamic orchestra and rock elements. And also, one of the things that catch your attention is the cinematography and camera work. There’s a lot of variety and detail, not to forget the gothic atmosphere of Petersburg.
Starring the talented Tikhon Zhiznevsky as Igor Grom, a skilled, idealistic St. Petersburg policeman who never plays by the rules yet thinks before he acts, he is assigned to investigate one of the most outrageous crimes that plague the city: Doctor Plague’s case. Grom, who religiously leads his life as a lone wolf, suddenly jumbles his idealistic life when a young, quick-witted, and naive trainer, Dmitry “Dima” Dubit (Aleksandr Seteykin), enters his life alongside Yulia Pchelkina, a sensational blogger and journalist (Lyubov Aksyonova).
Grom’s main ambition is only one. To catch the mysterious man behind a white mask who goes around burning famous influencers alive with an all-black combat suit. I present you the main character of the show, The Plague Doctor (Dmitry Chbotaryov). After the acquittal of Kiril Grechkin (Yuri Nasonov), who fatally hit a young girl with his car, the Doctor plans to restore the justice of the people of Russia by hunting down people who commit crimes and violates the law by streaming it on social networks. He later gains a massive fanbase that causes the rise of the underground movement that supports his avengers towards impunity. His characters greatly provoke not only the society but the whole movie with an interesting development.
But, there’s this other guy who works behind the scenes that pave the way for the Plague Doctor to gain his prominence and rising popularity. The innovative and tech-savvy; a man with a hidden past, Sergei Razumovsky, is greatly portrayed by Sergei Grishko. He is a millionaire who creates a social network, “Vmeste” with the purpose to change people’s lives for the better, where people can access everything for free and become everything that they can imagine. Using freedom of expression as his core value of its system, who would have thought his idealistic dream is used by his own childhood friend to promote brutality?
Although the main concept is not entirely original, with a conventional plot that you would find in any other superhero-themed movie, Major Grom: Plague Doctor still occasionally delivers an exciting plot twist. It keeps you entertained until the end. The story is a mixture of law violation, hidden power, media influence, a battle of ideologies, and a moral foundation.
At least, it does not entirely promote police officers as a group that is always fooled and defeated by criminals. I love how it shows varieties of social constructs; how people work and engage based on each moral foundation and intuition, from the elites to the grass-root communities and underground syndicates.
The only problem is Major Grom: Plague Doctor is too long. It runs for 2 hours 16 minutes. Some parts can be polished more effectively rather than being stretched out. So many things go on in the film; it’s like eating one huge sandwich in one go. Other than the story, the characters are solidly written. There are enough varieties of depth, ambiguity, and realistic reasoning behind each of the characters. Plus, all the actors give a splendid and balanced performance.
The film is entirely in the Russian language. Do not worry; the dialogue is easily understood and focuses on the real events and circumstances rather than filled with philosophical mysteries and metaphors. We can understand each of the characters’ moral compasses and what’s happening without guessing too hard. One thing that you will always find in Russian movies is dark humor. So, if you’re expecting witty humor like in the MCU, then this ain’t it.
Overall it’s a refreshing and entertaining Russian movie. You will be intrigued to know more about the identity behind the mysterious Doctor Plague. What’s the reason behind all of the chaotic movement he creates and his violent acts? Well, he is about to give you a shocking truth. So, will Igor Grom manage to catch the real villain of the show? Let your curiosity finds out.
What did you think of Netflix’s Major Grom: Plague Doctor? Comment below!