IMDb > Vysotskiy. Spasibo, chto zhivoy (2011) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Great MAN not the movie

Author: karriba from Russia
26 December 2011

Well first of all sorry for my English, i should have prepared this speech, but i can't leave it like this and go to sleep after reading the upper post. I wouldn't like to vote for this movie, it's not easy, because the MAN who was loved by millions of people was shown in such pity way. OK Russian cinematography leaves much to be desired this time, and most of those who have seen this movie consider that this MAN doesn't deserve such a memory. BUT! How can anybody say about this person in a manner like that.. i just can't find the words. Vladimir Vysotsky was the greatest poet, singer and actor of the 20'th century (ok in Russia) and nobody can judge him without knowing what the person he was and what he did for Russian people. His original nature, inexhaustible energy and magic voice make everybody better whether you see him playing or hear him singing, it makes your heart melt and tears flow. Yes his life was not easy, he suffered on this earth like Jesus, he loved his motherland and he never tried to escape from that hell abroad like others did that time. But he couldn't feel himself free anywhere. That was his tragedy. But he was given the great gift - the great woman's love. Marina Vlady sacrificed her life and career and that was the most beautiful and fantastic love i've seen ever. His lyrics are so strong and full of value, lots of themes like war, love, repression and human being. Just read his lyrics and maybe you'll understand Russian soul. Here in English my favourite song and lots of others with original rhymes I can write endlessly about this person and i will always lack the words to describe his nature, but you can read Marina's book and just have your own opinion about Vladimir Vysotsky or just listen to his songs and if your heart doesn't beat faster, well then this world is rolling the wrong way.. here are some links: and the only video of that great love and finally here you can see Moscow in July 1980, when the Olympic games took place but everybody came to say good bye to him, though the funeral was not announced.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not Bad, Not Really a Waste of Time

Author: Tamara Nartichti
28 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No, not at all. It's a well made film, but still a disappointment in many ways. Cinematography and scenery were magnificent, but the story was not only awful or vague, it was a bad choice, I'd say. If there was a TV-series about Visotskiy, this movie would be a good episode, CERTAINLY not the pilot one, as a feature it fails.

Basically, it looks into a couple of days of a troubled artist. Granted, some important things happened during those days, but to choose that as the story for the movie about Visotskiy? Not a smart move. A great artist is shown as some junkie, who is *bravely* handling his ODs and detox issues. That was the idea, at least, but in fact, it could have been any regular junkie's indifference, any regular junkie's need for a shot, absolutely common lack of responsibility. They might have as well called the movie Some Junkie's Hard OD.

This is not what I expected from this movie. They didn't show him as an artist at all, his early years, any speculations about the reasons for his inner pain that is clearly felt in his songs or any of artistic confrontations with colleagues during his years in theater and cinema. That's what I was interested in. Apparently all that mattered to the creators of this film was two days of Visotskiy's life. Important days, I agree, but still just two days as opposed to lifetime of fruitful work.

As a fan of his music I was also disappointed by the soundtrack. Those few songs of his that made it into the movie were not his best, were not even close to my favorites or favorites of any other fan that I know. Why those few irrelevant and, frankly, weak songs while he has loads of powerful things, real bombs, real hits? I have no answer.

Still, the movie was not bad at all. Camera work and acting was flawless. Comedic relief tolerable, at times even brilliant.

I hope to see a real movie about Vladimir Visotskiy some day.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I grew to respect the guy even more

Author: Vladimir-14 from United States
9 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was biased against watching this movie by poor reviews and I was glad that I did not listen to them. Shame on these reviewers. Too much of Hollywood, I gather. The movie cannot be considered outside of the context of timeframe. It is 1979. Exactly a year before his death. Anyone who knows anything about Vysotskiy knows that he was very ill at that time - his heart started giving in. It was rumored that he had 2 or 3 clinical deaths before he passed away. That's how he is shown in the movie: weak body, but indomitable spirit. And all these talks about money - he only needed money as a tool to be free, to do what he wanted - to move around freely and see his people, his audience. It was clearly shown when he comes out to the scene to meet the spectators, when he should not have to, over enormous chest pain knowing full well, that he could drop dead right there. Nobody needs money that much and whoever accused Vysotskiy (or creators of the movie) of that should be ashamed. The scene with KGB colonel is just perfect - the dialog of truly free person and a faithful servant of the communist regime. And the highlight of this whole movie - when he boards the plane, pulls out a wrapper from the cigarette box to sketch down his next masterpiece poem: it's all in the eyes of his companion looking over his shoulder - all the suffering she went through was just repaid. Yes, there was some wardrobe malfunction: in some scenes the mask did not work really well and one can guess the actor behind this mask. I have two things to say about it: 1) You can't hide dirt from a pig 2) Yes, it was a mask, because real Vysotskiy died in 1980 and if one one really demands perfect special effects to believe, than they should be watching movies that require no imagination whatsoever...

Anyway, sorry for the tirade. You can tell I feel too passionate about the subject.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

very uneasy to vote

Author: darima from Ulan-Ude, Russia
27 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am 38. In my childhood my parents had a tape with Vysotskiy songs and used it as lullaby for me. His unique voice always made me calm. When I grew older I began to understand his lyrics and was charmed. It was a life time love. I still have in my collection some of his records and listen sometimes. I have read a few books of Marina Vlady about him. I know that he has a lot of problems with alcohol And that is all I know about him. A few words about very neglect review of eugenep13 from USA. It's difficult to evaluate something you know nothing about. Vladimir Vysotskiy I suppose is one of those Russian singers who can be comprehended and fully evaluated only by Russians themselves, especially by those Russians who lived in times of Vysotskiy. What was Vysotskiy for them at those times? A voice of freedom and liberty, an ordinary man who lived their problems, who suffered their troubles and who had a courage to say it aloud. He was not convenient, ideologically right poet for authorities. He was a poet of people's heart. That's why he was equally gladly met in almost all societies of Soviet people and the same time was a pain in we-all-know-what-place for authorities. He was almost impossible to control. he was a free man in a not free country. That's why it is difficult for me to evaluate this specific movie. Make-up and effects are great. Vysotskiy on a screen is almost alive. But the same time I don't understand why the authors of the movie took especially that moment in biography of a great person. There was 3 director of that movie. Mitta was in the beginning as I remember, then the one in the middle and the movie was finished by the third one. What has come out is something not really good. It should have been nostalgic movie about era and times past. What we have is a movie about last outbreak of strong personality which is already slowly dying because of drugs. I don't understand for whom was that movie. If it is West oriented than it gives very wrong impression about Vysotskiy. Just because that is the first movie of such kind and Vladimir Vysotskiy not very popular abroad. If it was cut for Russians - then why is it so dark? I don't want to see one of my favorite poets in a such pathetic role. Especially when a question of Vysotskiy and drugs was never officially proved. It should have been nostalgic movie about a great personality! Instead we was shown a lot of faults in Vysotskiy's character. I wanted something which would make me proud to live in my country and nostalgic and which would make my eyes full of tears. Something like "Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya". I haven't received what I hoped for. May be with the end of Soviet era great Russian movie has really died. But nevertheless I give it 7 just because it was at least cut. I recommend anyone who knows nothing about Vysotskiy not to watch this movie. You will get wrong impression about him. Or at least read something else about him before watching.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Unrealized potential, unlike the man himself.

Author: gonzostyles from United States
23 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been reading reviews on IMDb for 10 years but this is the first time I am actually submitting one myself.

I don't live in Russia but speak the language and saw the film last week. I was born in the United States to Russian immigrants, I was born 2 years after they arrived in the states in the 70's. I grew up around Russian culture and did not speak any English until I began attending school in the states. So I never knew of Vysotsky when he was alive, I do not know what it was like in Russia aside from my knowledge from oral histories passed down to me from my family. To be honest Vysotsky was never mentioned in my home as a child, I did not know of him until much later in my teens after accidentally stumbling upon him. Then as I researched him, it blew my mind as to why almost no one in America knew of this great man. Though he did come to the United States in 1976 and played for major celebrities (Liza Minelli, Robert De Niro, etc) and was profiled on 60 minutes which was the mecca of television journalism at the time. So I was very excited to see this film, after seeing countless documentaries, finally a film version of the great Vysotsky...

As far as the good about the film, whoever it may be who portrayed the great Russian Bard did a phenomenal job. You never feel like you are watching an actor but the man himself. The make up was fantastic, sure at certain points it can be seen that it's make up but it does not detract from the suspension of belief.

The cinematography was phenomenal, it does not feel any less than a major motion picture release by Hollywood. The colors are vibrant, the scenery is breathtaking, it has the perfect feel of the time period. The supporting cast is decent, the standout performance comes from the KGB agent in charge of pursuing Vysotsky, there are a couple of specific breath taking scenes between the two, yet they do not take place with the two of them together. One scene is while Vysotsky is speaking to his lover in bed and the KGB agent listens in via wiretapping devices. The second scene is when he learns of Vysotsky's "death".

The bad is not much but crucial in the sense that if you are expecting to learn about the man himself, this is not the movie for you. The movie takes place over the course of events surrounding Vysotsky's clinical death which took place a year to the day before his death on July 25th 1980. On July 25th, 1979 a battered Vysotsky was clinically dead for several minutes but was eventually revived and this film takes place around the days surrounding this event.

To appreciate the film, you already have to have a solid knowledge base of Vysotsky. This film does not touch much if at all on what the man truly meant to the public, his acting career, his stage work, his poetry, etc. So unless you know the immense struggles he faced it is very difficult to appreciate it.

The film is not great but it's worth a watch, it's more concerned with the faults of the man than it should be. It fails in concerning itself with the genius and the struggle of the man not with his personal demons but with his majestic abilities to convey with words what his countrymen felt.

I also watched some interviews with Nikita Vysotsky (the son of Vladimir) who was involved in the project and he has respect for his father but it is clear from how he speaks about him that their relationship was not a good one, so I don't know how much that played in his input on what we see on the screen.

The greatness of Vysotsky, not himself personally but of his phenomenon is that I cannot think of any other similar person in the history of mankind in this sense; Vysotsky appeared in very few films, his recordings were never released during his lifetime on any record label. The state did all it could to block him from the people, only 3 of his poems were officially published in his lifetime. Yet millions of people knew every lyric to his songs, knew his poetry and protected their idol like a g-d. This is where the film misses for me big time, as it does nothing to convey this unique phenomenon.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Symbol vs Death

Author: hdvdeo from Lithuania
7 January 2012

I would say this is film about man who is the symbol of the people versus death. And the death in this film closely related to government and KGB. Death is also can be seen as the Visotskiy inability to further work on his poetry - which is the life. Most people who do not know about Visotskiy, how people lived in Soviet Union, will find this film as waste of time. Most people who know Visotskiy well will expect bio type film. It is not. Audience younger than 40 and who lived in former USSR, may expect true satisfaction. As film it is very good. Soundtrack selection sometimes strange. Actors are excellent, except Visotskiy, dialogs are good.

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