Having seen other films by Pavel Lungin, including 'Oligarkh' and 'Svadba', out of which 'Svadba' is clearly my favorite, I went into this one with high expectations. And I wasn't disappointed in the sense that I haven't lost interest in the story. But it is botched up a little. One scene works and is very powerful indeed, then another just shouldn't be there. Yes, it's surreal madness, from the Central Asian deserts to the post-com Moscow, and it does function as symbolic commentary on trends of new Russian history. But from time to time illogical developments come independently from that endeavor, although they mingle relatively well and thus almost completely disappear in the midst of 'normal' madness. So this is the Russian 'Godfather' indeed, but with a touch of Kusturica as well (think e.g. of 'Underground'), and with minor imperfections. A souvenir from the age that some sociologists, just heard it from a specialist on Russia, characterize as a 'civil war with an extremely narrow battle front, fought over material values'.
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