“Who is the Hero?” Major Grom makes viewers decide

Barbara Kuznetsova

Picture from Canva

Over the summer, “Major Grom: Plague Doctor” came out on Netflix and immediately began to reach the top of Netflix’s chart. It has also become one of my favorite movies. This movie not only contains a breathtaking plot but also gives the viewer an opportunity to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. 

The main character, Major Igor Grom, is a policeman who does not follow the rules in cases of arresting and interrogating criminals. He believes that it is almost impossible to catch a criminal following the rules because criminals themselves do not follow rules. 

Major Grom prefers to work alone on most of his cases but when a judge set free a wealthy man who was involved in the manslaughter of a 7-year-old orphan girl things began to change. 

Grom and many other citizens are furious about the judge’s decision. Grom cannot do anything about the judge’s decision. But the Plague Doctor does not remain silent about this injustice. The Plague Doctor claims that the city is devoured by a plague of corruption, greed and lawlessness. Major Grom becomes the one who has to stop the Plague Doctor. 

This movie is a great example of ambiguous characters. Throughout the whole movie it is incredibly difficult to decide whether the characters are good or bad. Both main characters have features about them that are both good and bad.

Major Grom is strictly against injustice and is ready to sacrifice his own life to stop the Plague Doctor. Grom uses unorthodox ways by constantly beating people up to get information from them, bending the law if it helps to catch a criminal more effectively and covering his friend’s illegal fighting club. These features about Grom make it hard to decipher if he is really good or bad.

The movie’s tagline is “Choose Your Hero” is entirely fitting because you cannot decide whether a character is “good or bad.” The antagonist’s story and motivation are intricate and breathtaking. 

After watching the movie, you sit in silence and think whether the Plague Doctor was right or wrong. The movie makes more sense the more you watch it. Small details that help enhance the movie are more visible after understanding the main plotline. 

The director, Oleg Trofim, chose a difficult message to convey but ended up executing it very well. This is one of the main reasons why this movie catches attention so easily. Trofim is from Moscow and has been nominated for a Golden Eagle Award for Best Motion Picture for his 2018 film “Lyod.” 

There are a few downfalls to the film. The Plague Doctor’s arc is explored intensely, but we know practically nothing personal about Major Grom. His past is not shown and we don’t know how he became himself or why he is so detached from other people. Some dialogues sound unnatural and too similar to a comic-book. But these disadvantages do not ruin the movie and the effect it has  after watching. 

This movie is outstanding in sense of directory work, literary signs, messages conveyed and the antagonist’s story. But Grom’s backstory leaves room for improvement. The post-credit scene creates intrigue that makes the viewer want to learn what happens next.