Ivan Mirosnikov, a cheeky young man in the Gorbachev era, is trying to figure out what to do with his life (he's not in college, and the 2-year mandatory military service is looming large ahead of him). Meanwhile, he lives with his divorced mother, and works as a courier at a Russian newspaper. Through his job, he meets patronizing Professor Kuznetzov and his rebellious daughter Katya. To annoy the professor, Ivan claims to have an affair with Katya. To his surprise, Katya backs his story up. Written by
Kuryer, or the tribulations of youth in transition
Early Perestroika years in Moscow. The Communist regime has brought about relative wealth and comfort, but also growing differences between the haves and the have nots. Belonging to the middle-upper class means working hard and conforming. Ivan Miroshnik is a teenager pampered by his mum who has just divorced. He plans neither to work hard nor to conform. After uncaringly failing his university entrance exams, he does not know what to do with himself, but mum finds him a job as a messenger boy in a small editing house. On his first day at work Ivan is sent to take a parcel to professor Kuznetsov, who belongs to the successful upper class. On arrival, he meets Katya, the professor's daughter, and quickly and effectively sets out to charm her with his cheek and impudence. Katya has led a protected life and quickly takes to Ivan's "originality", while Ivan goes with the flow. As to professor Kuznetsov, he decides that Ivan is just a supplied, rude and nihilist young man.
Ivan and Katya meet, alone or with their usual group of friends, and class differences soon become painfully obvious. Ivan's constant dubious practical jokes, probably the only means he has to try and please, start to lead to very unpleasant situations.
This film is about the wavering of youth, sexual attraction among people with different backgrounds, about clashes between generations, the end of the Soviet Union and the rejection of its values by younger people. Very interesting and honest analysis of Katya's psyche, achieved with just a few brush strokes.
This film got several prizes when it was released, and has aged well, since it contains sufficient reflections on universal issues (clothes and hairstyles aside, perhaps). Good musical score by E. Artemev.
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