"makes for a reasonably enjoyable piece of cinema"
Directed by Fedor Bondarchuk, Attraction is a subtitled Russian science-fiction drama/romance film, which tells the story of a malfunctioning alien spacecraft that is shot down over Russia airspace, after entering the atmosphere over Finland and the aftermath of the crash. The plot also follows the story of Yulia Lebedev (Irina Starshenbaum) a teenager with a difficult relationship with her father Colonel Valentin Lebedev (Oleg Menshikov), who is in charge of the military operation surrounding the crash landed alien spacecraft.
With the anticipation of a meteor shower over Moscow. Valentin tells his daughter Yulia to stay home for her own safety. Yulia who is a rebellious teenager, with a strained relationship with her father since the passing of her mother, defies him and heads out to watch the meteor shower with her volatile boyfriend Artyom (Alexander Petrov) and her best friend Svetlana Morozova (Darya Rudenok), with whom she has an implied lesbian relationship.
During the meteor shower the malfunctioning spacecraft is struck by meteors and is shot down by the Russian air force causing it to crash land in Moscow, destroying multiple buildings and killing hundreds of people, including Yulia's best friend Svetlana.
Under a state of military alert and upon making first contact with the aliens via Valentin, the Russian government decide not to engage in hostilities, but instead let the occupants repair their spacecraft and leave the planet. The crash site is evacuated, fenced off and patrolled by armed guards. Moscow is placed under a curfew.
As tensions rise in Moscow, Yulia together with her boyfriend and some of his friend's decide to sneak into the crash site with hostile and curious intentions. There they encounter an alien who saves Yulia falling from a building when she is startled by him. Yulia's boyfriend and his friend's attack and injure the alien, mistaking Yulia's screaming for being attacked. During the confrontation the alien falls from several floors to the ground and is injured. Reaching the ground floor to see what's happened to the alien they find only an exoskeleton.
Yulia sees that what appears to be a dead body of one of the people killed during the original spacecraft crash is in fact the injured alien who is humanoid. She doesn't let the others know, but with them leaves taking the exoskeleton with them.
Later feeling compassion because the alien had saved her instead of attacking her, Yulia together with another classmate goes back to recover the body the injured alien.
With touches of the cold war science-fiction films of the 1950's and elements of the 1980's teenager adventure movies, combined with suggested current political and social undertones Attraction makes for a reasonably enjoyable piece of cinema. The special effects are well done and are used sparingly, (unlike the Hollywood overkill we suffer) which makes for a character driven film, but with an implausible romance.
Though not without it's flaws, Attraction is entertaining enough for the approximate two hours of the film to pass very quickly without feeling lengthy, which is always a good sign.