A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.
This guy John (Ben Chaplin) leads his mediocre safe life of a bank teller in a small provincial English town, until the stunningly gorgeous, wild, girl-to-die-for Nadia (Nicole Kidman), ordered by email from Russia, enters his life to become his beloved wife, by Johns plan. However a glitch turns up - Nadia does not speak a word of Johns language. Although calm and emotionless on the outside, John becomes so interested in beautiful Nadia that instead of using the full refund policy of the matching service, he buys her a dictionary to start the communication process.
What happens henceforth in the plot really shakes poor John from his slumber of a decently-paid safe-feeling clerk into a decision-making decently thinking action figure, giving the viewer a subliminal message "you would have probably acted likewise".
Kidman, Cassel & Kassovitz make a great team acting Russians and they are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, "almost" only due to the slight accent present in their Russian dialogues, however slight enough to amaze a native Russian by the hard work done to get the words sound right. Nicole Kidman proves her talent once again by playing a character quite different from the previous roles, at least from the cultural background.
The pace of the film is fast and captivating, and you certainly are not ready to quit watching when the end titles appear, you rather feel that you're in the middle of the plot, and are left with a desire to see the sequel as soon as it comes out.
My advice is to go out and get this film immediately and watch it and enjoy. To sum it up, it has an unusual plot, great acting, and ideas below the surface. Like the idea of the "rude awakening" from the artificial safe routine life of a wheel in a Society's machine, the life which members of the Fight Club were so keen to quit and the machine of which Pink Floyd sings ("Welcome to the machine!"). I bet that in the end, John was rather off with Sophia on their way to the unknown than not having met her at all.
Thank you, writers, for the great story, and everyone else for this great movie! Please make a sequel! And you can stage it whereever and name the location whatever, because the authenticity of the place is irrelevant to the 99.9999 percent of the potential viewers, I am sure of it.
- Aug 1, 2002