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Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to the 16th century Moscow, while Tsar Ivan the Terrible goes into the year 1973. Written by
Dmitry Zharkov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By naming some of the cities Ivan the Terrible has invaded , he also named Revel', the old name of Tallin, Estonia. However historically the Czar was trying to invade the city but never did it. See more »
I own two copies of this film, one purchased in Russia (no subtitles), and one I've acquired recently to show it to my wife with subtitles. She wasn't very excited about Russian cinema, she isn't a film person and hates to read subtitles, but this time she gave in.
As many reviewers mentioned before, majority of the humor relies on the verbal misunderstandings between the characters from different time eras, that of 1500's and that of 1970's.
I've paused the film no less than a dozen times to explain such details as the meaning of world "liapota," it being the ancient word for the modern equivalent of "beauty," and to explain Visotskii's (a Russian singer whom Ivan the Terrible listens) lyrics. Also, there are many little social comments that those who haven't lived in, visited, or studied Soviet Union wouldn't understand completely i.e. the obvious ridicule of the "social reports" and the black market commentary.
Nevertheless, she liked it, and I was dumbfounded.
This film is popular and remembered because of its many layers. You may enjoy it simply as slapstick, someone else can view it for the language, while yet others can view it as a social commentary. It adds up if you know the Russian language and history, but even if you don't you will still find it funny and charming because there is always something to take away.
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