Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.
June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or ... See full summary »
Corrupted cops, street gangs, "bratki" on "bummers" and "merins", angry truck drivers, beautiful women and death are what four friends on a black bummer who set up on mission from one ... See full summary »
Sergei and Simon have to deliver a suitcase full of heroin to Mikhalych or else they will be killed. There is one minor detail: the only problem-solving technique they are familiar with is ... See full summary »
During the bloody war in Chechnya, a British couple and two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen rebels. Two of the hostages are then released to bring the money for the British woman who is forced to wait for the ransom.
'Romantic' is the word most vividly associating with this movie - in all of the senses of this word, much of the Middle Ages' understanding of romance as a dream and a tragedy. An earlier experience with the Russian temper (especially if one is acquainted with Russian literature) can make the theme better understandable. I wanted to see this movie already a very long time ago (though succeeded only yesterday) mainly because of the "bear" Sergey Bodrov jr. (particularly remembering the film "Brother") and the overall plot description reminding of a fairy tale. In both of these I found what I expected. Mr.Bodrov is rather convincing embodying the bear's strength, wildness, well - bear-ness, and the general atmosphere of the film is so undeterminably magic. Also Ms.Liljeberg is expressive and positively incomprehensible as the lonely circus girl fighting all problems of life. The fantastic shapeshifting from bear into human and vice versa I regarded not only as a fairy tale feature, but also as something a bit symbolic. There is a lot of the human dilemma to be met, like loving the girl and still wanting to be a bear i.e. wanting to change for the sake of someone and to be who you actually are. But that, I guess, is a question of willingness to see. In general, the film doesn't pretend to a lot of symbolism or great revelations, though. But it is worth seeing at least because of the mild calm dreamy atmosphere, which is not met in movies often these days.
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