Born into an oligarch family, young Grigory is so caught up in his pampered lifestyle he thinks he is above the law. When he goes too far with his escapades and faces a jail sentence, his father takes radical measures. With the help of his old-time friend, a psychologist, he comes up with a plan to 'rehabilitate' his unruly son. They find an abandoned village and reconstruct it, 19th century style. Soon after that, Grigory gets into an arranged,make-believe car accident, and "goes back in time". And so, a sophisticated psychological experiment begins, where a spoiled rich kid gets 'reincarnated' as a serf who lives in a barn on his master's estate. All the people he meets there are hired actors whose job is to impact Grigory's personality in such a way as to turn his life around. There are hidden surveillance cameras hidden in every corner of the 'estate', and a team of psychologists watches Grigory's every move. He will have to learn how to communicate properly with people, to ...
Stupid rich kid gets a girl he doesn't deserve but it's ok because he's cute
Multi-layered comedy full of in-jokes finally makes laugh at Russian 'new aristocracy' (oligarchs + statesmen) children. Its only significant minus is female lead and romantic storyline. Overall, the movie is a kind of revelation, not only to modern Russian cinematic level. Because for the first time in both Soviet and Russian history it presents stupid (but cute) male character as protatonist. By local standards at least, it's almost a feminist movie.
So, if you know Russian emancipation of serfs (slaves) was in 1861, and the reform lasted for 50 years, the movie can make you smile. Especially, if you're Afro-American thinking like James Baldwin, that racism is a key to everything. No offense.
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