Sharunas Bartas demonstrates that he should stick to camera operating.
With the nicely shot but messily assembled thriller “Eastern Drift,” a French-Lithuanian-Russian co-prod, Lithuanian helmer-writer-lenser-thesp Sharunas Bartas further demonstrates, after “Seven Invisible Men,” that he should stick to camera operating. Trite story concerns a small-time crook on the run from the Russian mafia after whacking a kingpin, necessitating visits to co-producing nations, none of which are likely to show pic much B.O. love. Pic may drift through a few more fests post-Berlin debut.
Left broke when an associate (Erwan Ribard) stiffs him on a debt, drug smuggler Genia (helmer Bartas) has no choice but to ask for money back from a Russian mobster if he’s going to get out the biz and retire to France with his French g.f. Gabrielle (Elisa Sednaoui). He travels to Moscow where he crashes with ex-g.f. Sasha (Klavdia Korshunova, pic’s best thing), a hooker with a heart. After it all goes tits up (in every sense — pic sports lots of gratuitous nudity), Genia goes on the run with Sasha, ending up in France via Belarus and Lithuania. Dire editing, Bartas’ inability to shoot action, act himself or direct thesps all create a tedious excursion.