"Shapka" is one of the last great Soviet films. It is perhaps the last Russian-language films to boast a truly star-studded cast, including the glorified veterans such as Yevstigneev, Vesnik, Yefremov, Tabakov, Djigarkhanian, Nevinny, Vladimirov, as well as the brilliant Ilyin (then only a newcomer). The acting is superb (it is probably Ilyin's best work), the script is funny and sad at the same time. The film is perfectly paced, very dynamic, and never boring. Besides the high entertainment value, "Shapka" is also philosophical. Despite being set in the 1970's Soviet Union, the story is universally applicable. It is a tale of a conformist, a self-less drone who stubbornly believes in the fairness of the system which ultimately betrays him and destroys him, morally and physically. Overall, an excellent film.
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