A Rough Draft (2018) Poster

(2018)

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a good film
Kirpianuscus19 January 2019
...as intention. Because , it has beautiful premises, an interesting story and a lot of CGI effects. And a nice cast. But, scene by scene, it becomes a montagne russe. From the high level to the down. Once. And again. The best part- the resurrection of the memories about fairy tales. Including Russian . The worlds, the order keeper, the fundamental change of life - a fear of each from us- are good points . But the problem becomes with the wrong use of obsessive love story. Sure, Dante and Beatrice or, maybe,"What Dreams may Come". But the entire architecture of film is brocked. Sure, a seductive idea with high potential. But not enough for be credible. And real seductive.
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6/10
How did I know that?
nogodnomasters16 August 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Kirill (Nikita Volkov ) is a game designer who recently broke up with his girlfriend Anna (Olga Borovskaya) who is not killed by a train. All of a sudden, for no apparent reason his life vanishes caused by the strange woman (Severija Janusauskaite ) in his apartment. Kirill is forced to live in a circular tower with multiple doors. He opens doors to new worlds which are alternate realities for Moscow. He is tasked to locate Arken, the one world that rules them all. Meanwhile, he chases alternate Anna who doesn't know she broke up with him.

This was interesting Russian science fiction in spite of the horrible dubbing. If you loved the Matrix, you might like this one. Visually good.

Guide: No swearing or sex. Brief rear nudity.
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6/10
Fresh Russian sci-fi, but a bad movie
siderite28 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I would have never even heard of this film (or the book it was inspired of) if not for HBO Go, so thanks for that. I was pleasantly surprised to watch something that felt different than the usual American movies I watch and that had an original idea. However, even if it seems the production values are high, the script and the acting leave a lot to be desired. It's a step up from what I was expecting, though, and I hope the Russian movie industry improves and starts bringing to the public all that rich Slav storytelling that I grew up with. So many great Russian sci-fi writers and so few movies to bring them justice. But enough of that.

The story revolves around a guy who is practically removed from this life, with people who knew him forgetting him and any proof he ever existed updated. Why? So that he is made a border guard between worlds. His job is not only the menial checking and allowing traveler access, but also opening doors to new worlds. Yet by the time we learn of this, the story focuses almost exclusively on his obsession with his former girlfriend and the inane steps the organization he works for takes in order to stop that from developing. So much so that in the end, when he achieves what he had been brought to do in the first place, everything literally crumbles to dust because of this artificial conflict and drama. The story is also open ended, as Cernovik is just the first of a series of books by author Sergei Lukyanenko, same guy who wrote Night Watch and Day Watch, which also got made into high profile Russian movies. Maybe it's better to wait for a Chistovik movie and watch them back to back.

Bottom line: some serious irony there to name your book Rough Draft and a major achievement to be made into a movie. However, the film starts great and ends in a weird chaotic mess. It's like different people made the first and the second halves of the story. Plot holes abound and even the Matryoshka Daleks can't stop the feeling that someone really slacked in the end there.
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6/10
My Review Of "A Rough Draft"
ASouthernHorrorFan4 February 2020
"A Rough Draft" manages to be a pretty entertaining, highly conceptual sci-fi story. Much like "Night Watch", the film's big theme is alternate realities, filled with near supernatural characters who have learned to manipulate and control destiny. It is instantly a fascinating concept and begs of intrigue. I found the film interesting from the beginning.

Although "A Rough Draft" suffers similar flaws as "Night Watch", lack of depth in regards to character development and a true human touch, the movie gives us a fun ride with cool characters. The writing does hint at cookie-cutter hyperbole, the cast interact with enough comfort to create engaging story development and drama.

The special effects wag between creative high concept CGI elements and mockbuster aspiration. The film is visually stunning with various Moscows showcasing some exciting possible realities. There is some really memorable scenes that almost brings to mind "Inception" level effects, my favorite involves a Matryoshka doll.

Overall "A Rough Draft" is a very entertaining, highly engaging sci-fi action movie with cool effects and stellar cinematics. It isn't quite as high impact as "Night Watch", but it is a proper effort. Still the film does lack true depth inregards to connecting on a personal level. The characters don't completely feel fully drafted. That being said, the movie is worth watching and should be entertaining to sci-fi fans.
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3/10
Sci-fi multiverse... best left to sink down the black hole....
joebloggscity16 December 2019
This film is ambitious but falls far short it has to be said.

Based on a Russian book, which as far as I'm aware is not around in the English world, its another one multiverse movie. Ready Player One and others have been heavily influenced by tech and popular science books that have been popularising this area.

What we have here is really a Russian super games programmer who one day finds that he has been erased from the real world and trapped in a virtual world etc etc. Its not really worth explaining more. It ain't the Matrix and closer to Notting Hill! 20 years ago if this was being made it would have starred Hugh Grant in some English language remake.

It's beautifully made, often too self indulgent, and that's all that's good about it. It's quite a boring film. The only character of any interest is just indeciperhable. I can remember the actress from Babylon Berlin, and her character & look is 100% the same. Very unoriginal.

This film tries but misses the mark across the board. Apparently there could be more to come, but I think it is best to cut the losses here. A waste of time.
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7/10
A Visual Delight
alisonc-127 July 2018
Kirill (Nikita Volkov) has a great life as a very successful video game designer; he has lots of friends, loving parents and a beautiful girlfriend, not to mention a loyal dog. But one evening when he returns to his apartment, he finds a stranger there - a woman named Renata (Severija Janusauskaite) who insists that the apartment (and the dog) belongs to her. In trying to straighten the situation out, Kirill soon discovers that all of his documentation has somehow disappeared from official records, his boss doesn't know him and worse, neither do his friends or even his parents. He is now at the mercy of Renata, who instructs him to go to a tower, where he will serve as the customs officer, opening doors to other worlds. And he's very good at what he does.... This sketchy description barely scratches the surface of this film, which is full of gorgeous imagery (steampunk vehicles, graceful dirigibles and terrifying flying matryoshka dolls) and out-of-this-world fight scenes. Really fun stuff, if bewildering at times.
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4/10
Was Sarik back?
BiiivAL5 June 2018
Heh, you know, it's rare when a Russian film is so full of emotions. Here Chernovik achieved this. Read below my review of the movie without spoilers to the story, I do not know how well emotions will fall into the text, but I'll try. Go!

You know, I read Chernovik and Lukyanenko for a long time. It was so long ago that I honestly hardly remember the plot. The only thing I remember is that I read both books in awe and they liked me wild. The association of something incredible and fantastic, but at the same time dynamic and interesting - that's what remains of memories of books. Well, the film Chernovik directly inspired to re-read these masterpiece. To break the taste from what he saw. I told many films of Sarik in my time, but here a special case (especially the director is not Sarik). Surprisingly, the first two-thirds of the film The Draft is straight even more than not bad. Seriously. Yes, they left the idea of the book as always far and in an incomprehensible direction. Yes, there are moments that amaze with their stupidity and stupidity. Yes, to freeze animators who created special effects Night Watch and defreeze them today to create a draft - maybe not the best idea, since many studios on the knee would have been better written, since computers today are not pentiums anymore, and maybe better graphics editors forward seriously. But... The most buzz of the film is that what idiot just thought of introducing into the plot of the film and the film itself the image of biomechanical matryoshkas, the essence and meaning of which in the story are not disclosed. Maybe I have partial amnesia, but something in the books seems like it was not. This is how much it is necessary to get fumigated and the grass from which of the worlds, in order to think of such a thing? Well there is no way to describe without spoilers to the plot, this extravaganza should be seen personally. The extravaganza and its senselessness.

It's a shame in Chernovik that the sound link and rudiments of a good story in the film were. And the first half of the film, except for certain moments, they even somehow made their way through the stupidity and idiocy of what is happening. But then ... Then Sarik's virus became an epidemic that probably infected not only the director, but also writers and all the others.

To me one thing is interesting. Is the generation of people taking films in Russia today so dumb and hopeless? Well, really still at the stage of the prescribed script it does not become evident that the film is already not being produced right now, that the audience will crack the skull by slapping the palm over the forehead throughout the entire film? Well, can not this be realized and changed in advance? Well, I do not believe that I, Roman, are so clever as the navel of the earth, my friends doomed to go to the film are also unrecognized geniuses, while Sergei Mokritsky, in an embrace with the screenwriters, is the people who were taken into the profession by distribution, and not for talent. Well, okay, it's not like that. But here you go to the film and make sure - it happens. How is this possible - still do not understand.\ Despite the rudiments of adequacy and even some single good ideas, the film turned out to be the delirium of a gray mare. Cleaner shoot here no longer makes any sense. But in fact it was possible to make a whole movie on the basis of the novel to make Russian. God himself ordered. But the couple did not dare. They took something like Defenders-2. My sadness and grief simply do not have limits. Looking forward to a review from Badcomedian with impatience. There is where to swing at thousands of good jokes. And by the way, yes, the postscript, in the book, the plot of history with the erasure of life took only a couple of pages, immediately took off for 20 minutes. What for?
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2/10
Anna, Anna, Anna...
bsant549 April 2021
Pretty much, that's the whole script.

Guy taken from Earth and put in a place where he can open portals to other parallel Worlds. Has it all. Made immortal. Superman in his bode and within 15 km of there.

But oh no.

All he cares about is Anna, Anna, Anna.

Had a lot of promise but wasted on some stupid premise he wants his girlfriend back that rejected him on Earth.

What a dumb, dumb show.

If this was supposedly about true love, what a waste of time, a colossal fail.

2 starts since I felt sorry for the actors. I guess they needed the work.
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10/10
Oh, those wily Russians.
ted-peterson24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Watch the movie first if you don't want to be sullied by another's opinion.

Back in the good old days of the Soviet Empire, artists could only show dissent through their art. It was disguised to be acceptable but it was there. "Chernovik" is the same in current cinematic form. It is a complete and total condemnation of Soviet (or any form) of Socialism (Communism). It is simply a gigantic metaphor for life inside the PARTY and outside viewed from someone who has never been inside. In a funny way, the movie kind of resembles another fantasy movie about the wonderful benefits of being "inside" when one is outside: "El Norte."

When one is "chosen" (Not in the Chaim Potok way.) all things are possible but these benefits come with a price: The system must be sustained or it will perish. How is that done in the movie? Through water. Chosen ones are called Functionaries and while they have seemingly limitless power and benefit, it comes with the price of being a petty bureaucrat with some essential function. If they stray too far from their primary function, they must have water or they start dissolving. As it works out, the people inside, Functionaries, are subject to the same kind of totalitarian rule as are the people outside except that they have more things available.

In the movie, the access to more "stuff" is carried out by new Functionaries discovering that anything they wish is theirs. Our hero has the job of a customs official and he must live in a tower and create new worlds for other functionaries to visit. Every so often, a Functionaries' place of work is inspected by other Functionary bureaucrats to make sure all is in order. Early on, our hero is told there are only two avenues: Power and a woman. Our poor unfortunate has fallen in love with a woman who in real life has rejected him pretty soundly. But populating his fantasy into being chosen, this woman keeps popping up and he has decided to help her escape her dilemma and finally capture her heart. She is his Lara in Pasternak's tale. But here she is any number of different embodiments.

I watched it with my wife, and when I explained what was going on, she looked at me like a poodle looks at a wristwatch (No, I'm not calling my wife a poodle or a dog. She had no concept of what I was describing and I thought the poodle telling time by looking at a wristwatch was appropriate. Dogs, according to the latest research, have no sense of time.) But she was befuddled by the movie as, I am sure, are many other people.

This movie is not simple fantasy set in the backdrop of Red Square. It is a cutting sardonic look at life under totalitarian rule as seen by the average person. It is one of the best condemnations of single party rule and the excess of government. Even those who think they have it made "inside the system" are simply slaves to the same system enslaving those outside. It's kind of "Brazil on steroids." WOW.
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6/10
Great first half, but gets confused in second
Phil_J_G27 July 2020
The main character starts off doing well but things start to go a bit wrong as the plot develops. From the start, a Sci-Fi film is revealed.

There's an annoying blonde in the film who is integral to the story, acting like a nemesis to the main character. She's fairly wooden in acting ability but also needed to counter the 'hero'.

The first half of the film is damn good. Has some decent action, visual effects and a good sense of direction. If the film had stayed on this course, it could've quite easily scored 8 or more as it really entertains.

However, the second part of the film is just odd, muddled, and let's the film down. The point of the plot, characters, etc, are just thrown away. Yes there are more action scenes but they seem to be sprinkled into the film at random.

Overall, this isn't a stinker as many other reviews seem to point out, but it does suffer from a weak second half.
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3/10
Get Your Google Translate Ready
wildernessbarbie6 October 2021
I know nothing of the books, but shouldn't need to if the script was tight. It was not.

The main character's bizarre obsession with one woman and seemingly effortless adjustment to his new surreal job and surroundings had me rewinding several times, certain I'd missed something that explained what was happening.

I had not.

Also, none of the frequent Russian text displayed on the screen is translated, which is super annoying.

Don't let a few interesting visuals in the previews fool you. The rest are embarrassingly bad.
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6/10
Watched an English dubbed version- Didn't read the books
faradaygrean11 July 2019
I like the story-

Kirill (Nikita Volkov) returns home after a work celebration to find someone else living in his apartment. Soon he finds that no one remembers him- Not even the government! He discovers he has been chosen to be a customs agent, a person who can open doors to other worlds.

This movie feels like a rough draft. There was so much touched upon and and crammed into this movie. It would have done well to expand some parts of the storyline. The romance between Kirill and Anna had no depth or resolution. Although there were a few touching moments they weren't long enough to let you care.

Since this was an English dubbed film I must say the voice actors were mediocre. There was a part in the beginning where an actor is speaking and you only hear Kirill reply. Emotion is not always relayed and it takes away from the actors' intention.

There were a couple of neat little action scenes, some special effects and glimpses of other worlds. Scenes with Kirill and Kotya seemed natural.

This has at least inspired me to find the books and have a read.
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5/10
Missed opportunity
rokuban25 January 2020
Sergey Lukyanenko's books are a treasure trove of ideas, and should lend themselves well to adaptations. Night Watch was a good one. Chernovik, however, is a mess. Too much has been crammed into a single movie. The visuals are spectacularly, but the numbers of characters, worlds, the weird transitions, the lack of character development or even fleshing, makes it nearly impossible to follow. Paradoxaly, the rhythm lulls several times in the movie, and keeping attention is difficult. Too bad.
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1/10
This movie is such a nonsense
mico-barac2 March 2021
I was expecting a good movie, but this confusing crap left me deeply disappointed. The plot is awful, cast and acting even worse. Just a bunch of mediocre special effects.
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1/10
Great book, bad movie
roman-13614 October 2018
As a big fan of Lukjanenko, the author of the book and the book itself, I so wished the movie would be any good. But unfortunately it isn't. And I am very sad to give this review

First of all I would like to thank the author for a great story. For some reasons this book puts me in a special mental state, so I have listened to an audio version of it more than enough to know the story by heart.

Now about the movie. My major complain goes to the screenwriter. Almost all story lines and characters, including the main ones were changed so heavily, that the whole thing stopped to make any sense after the first 30 minutes of the movie. I probably said "whaat the hell??" 100 times watching the movie. Somehow, to my regret, bad screenwriting became an epidemic in the russian movie industry. It's like they think that if they add some visual effects to the movie, they are justified to make a sloppy work on the story, which is what a good movie is actually always about. Common guys, that is just a lazy thinking!

Ok, you might say that I am biased by the book and it's always difficult to convert a book to a movie. So what if you haven't read the book? To that I would say - it will be even worse to watch, because you will just fail to understand what the hell is going on. Characters suddenly start talking about things and calling names you've never heard before. In my opinion you will not understand motivations and the logic, so you will be left to sit and wonder who is doing what and why.

My advise - skip the movie, read or listen the book.
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6/10
Was expecting more.
dvytas15 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of writer Lukjanenko. I's so easy to read his books, and imagine what is happening there. In my opinion there are a lot of untold things in this movie. What I'm glad is that quality of russian movies are getting better and better. I've expected more information about Arkan, because, Arkan is creator of our world. Well, movie is good for watching. Good for people who loves sci-fi. cheers.
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10/10
Take a leap
remirol-9970010 December 2020
Never reviewed a foreign movie, but have to on this occasion. This is a great fantasy Sci-fi adventure about love. Anyone looking for a easy going movie with a deep Steampunk narrative love story will enjoy
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1/10
Poorly made
nelsontluv22 January 2021
I could not help but ask for what did I just watch? Maybe others like it but felt like a waste of money renting it even if it was only $5. Did not like it all.
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6/10
Strage start good development of plot
atomkukac121 June 2019
I watched it in 2 attepts. The first time I stopped after 50minutes. Then I gave it another try, and it developed very well. Plot twists, good characters, nice CGI.
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10/10
Unique
mikhaildolinskiy6 August 2018
Keeps guessing and questioning all the time For people who didn't read the book this is a very well done movie
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8/10
Hollywood is death...!
azz-0244118 September 2018
A new time-age is broken:Very good film only for good emotions.
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