Reviews written by registered user
|1 reviews in total|
The movie is bipolar. The upsides: great performances by many great
actors; a view that the movie provides into the minds of contemporary
Russians; and watching 12 post-post-Soviet (yet born and raised Soviet)
people engaged in the a very Western activity, where their universal
human feelings are intermixed with ways of thinking and arguing that
are skewed by the history and problems of Russian society. Having
characters give monologues in a single-room setting works very well for
the theatrically-trained actors. Also, the discussion of society's
problems and human responsibilities is refreshingly serious, in a big
contrast to most post-Soviet expression, which tends to be extremely
cynical (as argued quiet well by Efremov's character).
Downsides: certain characters are shallow caricatures clearly used to express Mikhalkov's personal tastes; way too many stretches in the plot; and the ending/punchline. Mikhalkov turns everything on its head in the end, very unconvincingly trying to argue that "freedom is slavery" and negating any civic benefit that the movie could have. This argument is basically a restatement of his political goals, most recently expressed off-screen by an open letter to Putin in the name of "all Russian artists" begging him to stay another term. Ironically, the argument is presented so weakly and crudely that Mikhalkov ends up shooting himself in a foot.