- Director: Romas Zabarauskas
- Writer: Romas Zabarauskas
- Producer: Romas Zabarauskas
As they say, practice should always allow room for improvement [if it doesn't, it's time to give up]...this is Romas Zabarauskas' third feature...and, as a filmmaker, he has improved...exponentially. But, as they say, there's always room for more improvement...when an auteur finds their cinematic voice, it's time to dispense with those [film-school-ish] gimmicks...let that voice be heard without the bells and whistles.
The Lawyer will resonate and ruffle [quite a few feathers]...Mr Zabarauskas is - hallelujah - not afraid to give the 'snowflake mentality' a bit of a slap across their collective chops...whether it be trans issues, identity, gay4pay, bisexuality, migration...basically, all those hot topics à la mode - he presents quite a feast of controversy...all served [deliciously] without [even a hint of] indignant melodrama. Well done!
Nothing is quite what it seems...nor, is anyone quite who they seem. On the surface, there are clear [and cloudy] motives...but, are they so cut-and-dry? Who - really - is pulling whose strings? This really is a rather splendid game of understated cat-and-mouse...obviously, the lawyer is perceived to be the puppet master. But, his 'refugee' puppet is poised and prepared to cut those strings at the best [most beneficial] time. This is intrigue and intriguing to watch...but, when beauty-and-brains are involved [Dogac Yildiz's character has each in abundance], it becomes a powder-keg waiting to explode. The ending does suggest that Mr Zabarauskas has not finished with this story...will there be a sequel?
If there is...keep the intrigue, keep the magnificent use of music, keep the cinematographer, keep the actors. Get rid of the filters, that black-and-white [nonsensical and eye-jarring] gimmick and all those superfluous storylines and scenes...make it more about the puppet and the master, who is who...and then, Mr Zabarauskas, you will have a mighty fine conclusion to your already tantalising story.
Marius is a highly successful lawyer based in Vilnius. He becomes obsessed with Ali, a handsome Syrian refugee he first encounters in an online chatroom run out of Belgrade. Marius is rich and enjoys a vibrant social and cultural life. Nevertheless, he feels that something is missing from it. The journey from Lithuania to Serbia is a relatively short one, but can the two navigate their way through the gulf that separates their very different lives? And how do they deal with the precarious obstacles of the physical borders that stand between them? Written and directed by Romas Zabarauskas, The Lawyer questions assumptions about what it means to be an immigrant and the possibilities offered by life in contemporary Europe.