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Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Europe to the East. Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in impassible woods. Nothing but chance and heavy fog could bring him to this cursed place. People who live here do not resemble any other people which the traveler saw before that. The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls and is waiting for an opportunity to gush out upon the world. Written by
An adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's popular 1835 short story about the demon Viy -- whose gaze was deadly if met eye-to-eye -- it was originally scheduled to be released in 2009 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Gogol's birth. See more »
Of course, this film is _based_ on a Gogol's story, not a direct screen version. And this is most interesting, because it creates an intrigue.
If one had read Gogol or had seen the film of 1967, he/she could expect to see something like that, just with 3D effects. These expectations disappear immediately, leaving the spectator face to face with an enigma.
As the director of this film said in an interview, they used an early edition of Gogol's text. The screenwriter continues from the very point where Gogol has put the last period.
On my mind, the story of Viy 3D resembles Umberto Eco's "The Name of The Rose", but with cossack's specifics.
It is dark - but not black. It is mystic - but not fantastic. (A bit of fantastic, of course). It is hard to predict if there would be happy end or not - many times. But this is not typical noir or horror.
Who or what is the "boss enemy"? Where the root of the evil hides - in the spirit of savage forests, in black souls of bad guys, or just in alcoholic delirium? What will triumph - an European rationality or Russian mystic? And many, many more questions.
And finally I must conclude: the film is positive. This is a perfect tale.
P.S. The priest, father Paisiy, is similar to Vsevolod Chaplin, the chief of public relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was quite funny to see his face in this context.
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