|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||32 reviews in total|
This is one of the most captivating love stories I've ever seen on
film. It starts with a young woman (Katya, played by Vera Alentova)
reporting to her Worker's Dormitory friends that she has flunked by two
points the exam to get into university. It ends with the most
incredible sweetness of life.
It is like a French film done by a Russian company (which is what it is). The Moscow we see that does not believe in tears does believe in love, and it is not a Moscow of politics, although some people do call one another "comrade." This is a woman's point of view film (a "chick flick") that transcends any genre cage. It begins slowly, almost painfully dull in a way that will remind the viewer of all the clichés about Russia, the unstylish dress, the worker's paradise that isn't, the sharp contrast between Moscow and the peasants who live outside the city. Katya works in a factory. She works at a drill press. She is obviously underemployed. Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova) works in a bakery. She is probably gainfully employed for the time and place. They are friends, twentysomethings who are on the make for a man, but not a man from the sticks. They pretend to be university post docs or something close to that and they impress some people as they house-sit a beautiful Moscow apartment.
This is how their adult life begins in a sense. Lyudmila falls in love with an athlete; Katya becomes infatuated with a television cameraman. One thing leads to another and before we know it they are forty. Neither relationship worked out. The athlete becomes an alcoholic, the cameraman, in the sway of his mother, believes that Katya is beneath him (once he finds out that she works in a factory). How wrong he is, of course.
But no more of the plot. I won't spoil it. The plot is important. The characterizations are important. The story is like a Russian novel in that it spans lots of time, but once you are engaged you will find that the two and a half hours fly by and you will, perhaps like me, say at the end "What a great movie!" My hat is off to director Vladimir Menshov and to Valentin Chernykh who wrote the script and to the cast. I've mentioned Vera Alentova and Irina Muravyova, but Aleksey Batlov who played Gosha was also excellent. I don't want to say anymore. Just watch the film. It is one of the best I've ever seen.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
This is a tribute to the Soviet era some people in Ukraine still consider to be the best years of their lives.I saw the movie in my child years, but didn't pay much attention to it. Now, when I study film history and techniques, the movie revealed to me some dark sides. "Moskva sliezam nie verit", I guess, tells a story of a humble Soviet woman in pursuit for happiness with a beloved man. This woman does not care about feminism. True love of a man-"stronghold", a man who is ready to comfort her any time she needs--that is what she is searching for in life. The movie shows some cloudy moments in the way to happiness three female friends go along. And the movie ends up where it should--an "island of placid" I watch it in original. Have to say, many phrases from the movie are cited in Ukrainian and Russian-speaking communities these days.
This was one of the last movies I have seen before leaving Russia. I am watching it every time with a lot of pleasure. It is funny, and touching to tears some moments. It is also very realistic, as many women in Russia went through the same problems as the three girls, and it touches most of people in Russia. It is also showing that it is never late to restart and suceed in your life, and in spite of difficulties it is possible to reach your goal and success (whatever it means for you).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This may be the first Russian movie I saw that did not end tragically. There were the normal problems of living in Moscow, particularly for the 3 young women trying to make it under very difficult circumstances. The things they do (particularly Lyudmilla) are funny and yet give us a glimpse into how difficult it must have been for them. Katya, the main character, goes through her trials but comes out on top. She does better than anyone else (out of the 3), even raises a daughter (without a husband), but she secretly longs for a man in her life. After many failed attempts are relationships she accidentally meets the man who turns out to be the perfect one for her. However, they too go through some struggles before coming to the final realization that they belong together. It is a wonderful story of struggles, successes, and life in general. The acting was wonderful, particularly the actress who played Katya. Her young daughter (Alexandra) was adorable. The scene I liked the most was Gosha invites Katya and her daughter to a picnic, to get to know each other better (after declaring that he is going to marry Katya). Katya is tired and she just falls asleep in a chair in the fresh air. Gosha gently puts a blanket on her. Very simple, but very caring and touching. There are many wonderful moments in the movie. The humor is sprinkled throughout and it is very refreshing to see a movie like this one. The most valuable thing to me was it gave a glimpse into life in the USSR, and yet we can relate to the story and the characters on a human level.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The second Best Foreign Language Film winner from the Soviet Union was
something impressive. "Moskva slezam ne verit" (called "Moscow Does Not
Believe in Tears" in English) starts out portraying three college
friends in 1958, and picks up twenty years later.
In 1958, Katya (Vera Alentova) is motivated, hard-working and bright, while Liudmila (Irina Muravyova) is manipulative, shallow and scheming, and Antonina (Raisa Ryazanova) is shy and simple. They're all from the countryside, but all looking to get jobs in the city. Over the next few days, Antonina ends up with one Nikolai, and these two are the most traditional; Liudmila ends up with hockey player Sergei. Katya, meanwhile, gets filmed for a TV project on the factory by cinematographer Rudolph, who ends up getting her pregnant. They try to talk things over at a park bench, but he just leaves.
Twenty years later, the movie focuses on Katya's redemption, one might say. She is now the director at the factory (and even gets to drive to work, practically unheard of in the USSR), and her daughter Alexandra is doing quite well. Granted, Katya's successful in her public life, but what about privately? It looks as though her personal life will remain empty until she meets one Gosha (Alexei Batalov), an honest, outspoken, perceptive fellow. She does meet Rudolph again - and this time he's going by his real name Rodion (he called himself Rudolph because western names were popular in the '50's) - but she leaves him at the bench.
This movie makes an interesting use of duality. There are two meetings in the park; Rudolph/Rodion leaves Katya the first time, but she leaves him the second time. Rudolph/Rodion makes two speeches about how TV is the wave of the future and will eliminate theater, movies, and books. There are two trips to the countryside. Katya twice falls asleep crying. Katya is twice filmed for a TV interview by Rudolph/Rodion; she's working at the factory the first time, and she's the director the second time. And finally, there are two scenes where people dance to "Besame mucho". And watch how they use the alarm clock in the middle of the film.
Among other things, how Gosha and Rudolph/Rodion bond at the end is classic for Soviet cinema. And, we get to see remnants of the '50's and '70's that even we in the west can understand: as teenagers, the girls swoon over movie stars (and their socks looked kind of like bobby sox), and people wear colorful clothes in the '70's. A classic in every sense of the word.
Moving story of three young girls who come to the capital of Soviet
Russia in search of their fate. They play rich girls to impress the
guys, and succeed in doing so. Katya (the protagonist) does not like
the game, but still goes with the girls. But the truth is soon
revealed, and Katya's boyfriend breaks up with her. She is pregnant and
has to raise a kid alone in a tiny dorm room, and still try to get an
The second part shows the three girlfriends 20 years later. Katya is a very successful business lady and has a wonderful daughter. But she hasn't found real love, and the story takes a new turn when she meets Gosha in a train. They both now have to find ways into each other's established lives. A very nice and sincere story that people watch over and over again!
Culturally interesting since this occurs in a Communist country that US
propaganda gave little insight on the values and realities of the people.
see idealistic poets who say the older generation made mistakes, women
promoted to executive positions, a film produced by the State yet
approaching sexual themes, Western idolization, the drudgery of repetitive
industrial work, and class distinctions between the haves and
Also of interest is the protagonist's view of herself. Without revealing plot twists, it is suffice to say that a woman is socially seen as submissive to the man. This is a shock to Western sensibilities of women's equality, especially as we see her ordeals as a result of a man's selfishness and dominance. What is revealing is that she, herself does not rebel against the System. She works within the parameters, creates her own success, and becomes transformed.
Being Western, I found myself questioning whether she had truly achieved something. The crown of achievement, we are taught, is independence, equality. Whereas she achieved that in a career and in her lifestyle, in her heart, she yearned for a man, to be the little wife, and to submit herself to a patriarchal marriage. But, in the end, who are we to judge another's happiness?
If you try to understand the meaning of Soviet mode of life (especially place of woman in Soviet society), this film represents the best one you can find for this purpose. The destinies of three women are depicted in clear and awesome way, and the most important you can see is that whatever happens in life, try to be optimist and to do everything not to give up living and being happy.
Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears is an appealing comedy-drama with much to say about Soviet society from the 1950s to the 1970s. The cast deliver standout performances, and this is the film's greatest strength. The story is about their lives. The city's scenery is often featured, with cinematography that's good for a Soviet drama film. The score, however, is standard fare, but there are a few notable songs. Considering its high entertainment value it's no wonder that Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears became one of the most popular films in the Soviet Union. It even won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. It's just one of those films where everyone involved in making it contributed to a result that delivers on all fronts. If the acting or the direction was worse then the result could have been another forgettable drama. Soviet filmmakers, however, specialized in drama films. This is because of the restrictions that were put on them by the government. Many good dramas were released during the Soviet period, and Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears is one of the most memorable. I definitely recommend seeing it.
Vladimir Menshov's well-balanced 'Moscow does not believe in tears'
provides a moving story about human warmth. About fortunes and
misfortunes that can befell anyone of us -- enabling us to identify
This film also is about a very East European female eagerness to hunt after Mr. Right. Pressure is on, for in Communist society failure usually meant a lifelong condemnation to a poor, worried, boring and tiring life in some drab Russian provincial town. With a big possibility that your husband would booze himself up too much.
No doubt this film's acting makes its strongest feature. Its uninterrupted, breathtaking quality convincingly carries you back some fifty years in time. To Moscow, the capital of the USSR. Although this Communist society has been gone for a long time, 'Moscow does not believe in tears' will easily get you back there.
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Official site|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|