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This movie is one of my favorites. It's extremely intelligent, funny, hilarious, sad, musical, graceful, nostalgic, beautiful comedy, with brilliant actors, incredible script, and a very special mood.
The plot takes place in 19-th century in a military hussar regiment, which spends few days in a provincial Russian town. A high profile Secret Service agent has a task to investigate if this regiment is loyal to the Tzar. The agent finds an actor who agrees to play a role of a captured rebel. Agent's plan is to test regiment's hussars ordering them to execute (shoot to death) this false rebel. Everything is staged, but hussars think it's a real execution...
It's about honor, friendship, love, youth. It shows in depth few terrific characters, it makes you think and feel, and laugh. On the surface it's a satire against Czar Russia, but this satire is even more relevant for any totalitarian society and especially for Soviet Union. Acting in this movie is unbelievably great, so is the script and the story.
Also most importantly: unlike many other Soviet movies, you do NOT have to be Russian to understand and enjoy its humor and points.
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