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With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his neglect of her, but wherever she goes she finds that she cannot escape chess. On the brink of giving up, she meets the world champion, Capablanca himself, with interesting results. Written by
I've seen a reasonable number of Russian films and it seems that all the Soviet films available in the US are extremely serious in nature--such as ANDREY RUBLYOV, WAR AND PEACE, POTEMKIN, IVAN THE TERRIBLE, THE CRANES ARE FLYING, SOLARIS and the like. So I was not expecting to find a funny film--and CHESS FEVER was hilarious! In fact, I'd place this silent comedy in the same category as a Keaton or Chaplin short--it's that funny.
The film begins with a geeky guy who absolutely loves chess. It's his wedding day, but he can't seem to focus on anything but chess. Seeing him in his crappy apartment with cats EVERYWHERE was pretty funny--you just have to see it to believe it. By the time he eventually makes it to his fiancée's home, hours have passed and she has had enough. She dumps the jerk and runs into a sympathetic man--who just happens to be the Soviet champion. However, he's no dummy--and he ISN'T interested in chess! Eventually, the boyfriend decides to give up chess forever--leading to a funny conclusion.
From the description above, it doesn't sound like a very funny film...but it is. There are so many cute little jokes and laughs that I couldn't help but laugh out loud several times--something I don't normally do when I watch a film. Overall, it's well written, acted and a lot of fun and it left me wondering if there are any more Russian films like this! If you know of any, let me know.
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