In a small Russian town, there is a Research Institute for magic. One of the witches, Alyona Sanina, is going to marry a guy named Ivan Puhov (not a magician). A jealous Apollon Sataneev ... See full summary »
In a small Russian town, there is a Research Institute for magic. One of the witches, Alyona Sanina, is going to marry a guy named Ivan Puhov (not a magician). A jealous Apollon Sataneev tells her boss Kira Shemahandskaya that Sanina is going to marry not Ivan Puhov, but Ivan Kivrin, whom Shemahandskaya is going to marry herself. Enraged, Shemahandskaya, who is a powerful witch, orders Sanina to forget about her Ivan and marry Sataneev instead. And this will be final unless Alyona kisses Puhov before midnight on New Year. Alyona's friends call Puhov to the rescue. Written by
Boris Shafir <email@example.com>
Even if you are not Russian yourself, or speak little of it, you might find yourself captivated by Charodei. Being on a roll watching Russian cinema, especially fantasy, and also studying Russian as part of my vocal studies music degree, Charodei certainly was captivating for this viewer. It looks beautiful, especially the snowy scenery in the second half of the film, and the mix of Russian fantasy elements and the modern world were intriguingly and lovingly juxtaposed. The music is nice and quirky, fitting well with the tone of the film, while the songs are catchy and very Russian(I for one love Russian songs). Particularly good is the song about the three horses, apparently the songs were hits back in 1982 and if so for very good reason. The dialogue is snappy and quotable, with subtitles for the non-Russian viewer it's easier to understand but the facial expressions and the acting give you an indication of what is being said. You have got to love the surnames of the characters too, very clever. The story is told in a very charming way. As well as having great mystical fantasy elements, Charodei works wonders too as a romantic comedy. The romance is sweet without being cloying, and the comedy is genuinely very funny. The characters are endearing, and the acting showcases actors that are as comfortable at comedy as they are in drama as well. Overall, beautiful, funny and very clever film. If you wish to see Charodei if you haven't already the whole film's on Youtube but under the Russian-phonetics-alphabet title. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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