The action of this psychological film takes place in the 1920s in a small provincial town in southern Russia. The civil war is over, but the Bolsheviks are still far from complete victory. A group of gangsters of former white officers rob a train of gold, which needed to buy bread for the hungry, and five friends, former Red fighters, engage them in mortal combat.Written by
Bazza the Beast
Mosfilm gave the production crew exactly 5400 m of color Kodak stock for the whole movie, therefore parts of the movie and some demanding sequences, like the train robbery, had to be filmed on cheaper black and white stock. See more »
An easy-going movie that mixes black-and-white cinematography with the colour one and comedy elements with high-power drama. The only thing I feel sorry for in this film is the absence of widescreen. The film would be so much better visually in widescreen.
The scenes which represent Brylov's dreaming are quite funny and strange. Brylov's manners are ridiculous and weird too: he looks like a man out of this world, a loony criminal with "refined taste".
I cannot compare it to any other movie. It's done in a very unique way (hectic bizarre clipping, grainy picture mixed with fine colour scheme, freaking behaviour of the baddies and goodies, deep adult emotions flavoured by some childish spontaneity all through the film, erratic close-ups of the characters blended into the picturesque shots of wide valleys, etc.). "Beloe solntse pustyni" (1970) was completely different and to say the truth I never liked it much. As to this one, it's the only Nikita Mikhalkov's movie I really enjoy.
It's a festival of human emotions without unnecessary scenes (sex, bloody brawls, endless gunfighting) so frequent in action cinema. An action film can be like this: humane, captivating, tough, and emotional. Even a small child can see it and enjoy, learning a lesson or two about life...
If only it were in widescreen... Still, 10 out of 10. Thanks for attention.
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