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This is a fun little movie that also reveals the emotional toll of the last 10 years on the Russian people.
The movie starts out in 1990 - the four girls (the "Old Hags") are a quartet that travel around the Soviet Union singing patriotic songs about things like pipelines. The film really succeeds at making fun of the Soviet ideology, while remembering it sweetly as the better times. The Old Hags are famous and live the lives of privileged citizens. (One of them is a dead ringer for Sheri Oteri from Saturday Night Live, and is just as funny)
Next, the movie fast forwards ten years. The group's sex kitten is now peddling fruit and newspapers on the street, working for an Azerbaijani boss. One of the girls gets scammed out of her apartment overlooking Red Square by a Mafioso. The rest of the movie is the girls' efforts to get it back.
While being a lot of fun, the movie also makes a big statement about what's happened and what could be. American viewers might find it a little over the top, but it really helps to understand how Russians feel about the country. The last five minutes of the film is where the message is really hammered home. In a cameo, director Eldar Ryzaonv plays a judge. As he waves goodbye the the girls, he stares directly into the camera; and it's clear that the final song is his message to the audience. My Russian is a little rusty, but I believe the lyrics to the song were something like, "I challenge you to a dare - let's see what will happen - I'm looking for you, you're looking for me".
It's definitely worth a look if you can find it!
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