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Injured on the job Vasily Kuzyakin gets a ticket to the resort. There he meets femme fatale Raisa Zakharovna, and once under the charm, moves to live with her. Unfortunately, a new life is not all that sweet as dreamed hapless Vasily.
A group of old friends have a tradition of going to a public bathing house on New Years eve. Incidentally, too much vodka and beer makes two of them unconscious. The problem is that one of ... See full summary »
Semyon Gorbunkov goes on a cruise. In Istanbul, he slips and breaks his arm. What he didn't know is that this was a signal for a gang of smugglers (a real smuggler - Gena - was also on ... See full summary »
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In this comic story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of the local "... See full summary »
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The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once ... See full summary »
Tonya has just graduated from the trade school and found a job as a cook in a Siberian village. She is naive but open hearted and kind. When Ilya starts flirting with her she takes it as a ... See full summary »
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He... See full summary »
This is one of the most captivating love stories I've ever seen on film. It starts with a young woman (Katya, played by Vera Alentova) reporting to her Worker's Dormitory friends that she has flunked by two points the exam to get into university. It ends with the most incredible sweetness of life.
It is like a French film done by a Russian company (which is what it is). The Moscow we see that does not believe in tears does believe in love, and it is not a Moscow of politics, although some people do call one another "comrade." This is a woman's point of view film (a "chick flick") that transcends any genre cage. It begins slowly, almost painfully dull in a way that will remind the viewer of all the clichés about Russia, the unstylish dress, the worker's paradise that isn't, the sharp contrast between Moscow and the peasants who live outside the city. Katya works in a factory. She works at a drill press. She is obviously underemployed. Lyudmila (Irina Muravyova) works in a bakery. She is probably gainfully employed for the time and place. They are friends, twentysomethings who are on the make for a man, but not a man from the sticks. They pretend to be university post docs or something close to that and they impress some people as they house-sit a beautiful Moscow apartment.
This is how their adult life begins in a sense. Lyudmila falls in love with an athlete; Katya becomes infatuated with a television cameraman. One thing leads to another and before we know it they are forty. Neither relationship worked out. The athlete becomes an alcoholic, the cameraman, in the sway of his mother, believes that Katya is beneath him (once he finds out that she works in a factory). How wrong he is, of course.
But no more of the plot. I won't spoil it. The plot is important. The characterizations are important. The story is like a Russian novel in that it spans lots of time, but once you are engaged you will find that the two and a half hours fly by and you will, perhaps like me, say at the end "What a great movie!" My hat is off to director Vladimir Menshov and to Valentin Chernykh who wrote the script and to the cast. I've mentioned Vera Alentova and Irina Muravyova, but Aleksey Batlov who played Gosha was also excellent. I don't want to say anymore. Just watch the film. It is one of the best I've ever seen.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
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