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Granatovyy braslet (1964)
This is one of my favorite films. It's so beautiful visually and so moving. I always cry at the end.
There is a lot of music in the movie, and the music is beautiful, so are the actors and imagery. I really like Vera Nikolaevna. She is beautiful, noble, and so pure. I can understand why the poor guy fell in love with her and couldn't imagine his life without a chance to see her.
The film is based on a story by the famous Alexander Kuprin. However, I like it better than the original story which gets boring in some places.
A great movie about US
I grew up in USSR, but has been living in the US for nearly 20 years now. I (with my family) watch a lot of Russian movies. Originally it started as a way to get our kids introduced to the language and culture, but now it has become a habit. I remembered this film since childhood: it made an impression on me and my husband, too. I couldn't recall the name and found it by accident a week ago. We are through second episode (of 3), and so far none is disappointed, including my son, born and raised in the US. If you look at the details carefully, of course, you'll notice things like soviet cars camouflaged to look American. But in spirit, it shows US pretty well. Of course, part of it is that we weren't here in the 70s, so the movie reflects our idea of US of that time, which maybe inaccurate. The fact is we are enjoying the movie. The suspense, acting, plot - all is superb. Of course, knowing Russian helps. I'm not sure if there is a subtitled version. I would recommend the movie to those Americans who are adventurous and intellectually curious. In my view, this movie gets at the American culture much better than any American film about Russia gets at Russian culture. Zhivago and balalaika is such an unreal combination, and the whole interpretation is ridiculous, yet the movie is considered a classic. Mirazh represents American reality much better. But this reality is not pretty, and many Americans won't like to face it.
Excellent modern funny refreshing
By now my family and I watched this film 3 times with different groups of people each time. These people were of various ages (5 to 55), backgrounds, residences, and interests. And they all simply loved the film! My family and I have been living abroad for many years. But we are constantly looking for good Russian movies to watch together. There are only a few among the new ones that are worth watching. And Khottabych is one of them. Watching it the third time was almost as much fun as the first. And we so enjoy the reaction of our friends who are introduced to the movie for the first time! I recommend this film to anyone. I have no idea how most non-Russians would take this film. The German wife of a friend enjoyed it very much, but her Russian is very good.
This film is too Hollywood
What I didn't like in "12" I still have to formulate. It wasn't that it was one of Mikhalkov's films (although I have little respect for the man). However, I really like some of his early films. Oblomov is excellent. Five Evenings, An Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano are very good films. It wasn't the propaganda in "12" that I personally didn't like. Although this film is full of it. It wasn't the story. I think the story had a lot of potential. What irritated me throughout the film is that it was made to imitate the worst Hollywood films in which rapid movements of the camera and the characters are used to make up for the absence of thoughtfulness and good acting. The characters are jumping, running, roaming around, throwing things, saying things that are out of place, interrupting each other. This is all so unnatural, so unrealistic, and so Hollywood. This film is made for Americans with a short attention span, not for Russians. Russian film tradition is making "slow" films that focus on good acting and an idea, not on rapid camera movements and quickly changing scenes. Cheap Hollywood effects had no place in good Russian movies. I guess Mikhalkov was aiming for American audience and Oscar which he didn't get anyway.