1939. A young Ukrainian-American man Yaro comes to the Carpathian Mountains, because his father left him a fortune under the condition that he would marry a Ukrainian girl. There Yaro meets a Hutsul girl Ksenya and has to rethink his plan.
"Hutsulka Ksenya" is a musical comedy based on the operetta by Yaroslav Barnych, which is set in Ukraine in 1939. It tells a story of a young Ukrainian-American man Yaro that comes to the Carpathian Mountains, because his father, who was concerned that his son does not know his roots, left him a fortune under the condition that he would marry a true Ukrainian girl. He stays at a local hotel run by a group of strong, fun-loving and educated women. There also lives an eccentric professor, who wants to find a unique butterfly that lays eggs only on lambs' tails. If Yaro does not find a wife within a year of his father's death, the fortune will be passed to his distant relative Mary. Therefore, Mary's mother Helen came to the Carpathians with her daughter and does everything she can to stop Yaro from marrying. In the mountains, Yaro meets a Hutsul girl Ksenya, who seems to embody everything his father told him about Ukrainian women. The two fall in love. Yaro needs to rethink his plan and...
Aesthetically appealing meaningful movie with wonderful music
I don't like musicals and Ukrainian cinematography (how unpatriotic of me) which in general is to sentimental and boring or Hollywood-like secondary trash as for my taste. But there is a good side of genuine Ukrainian movies and culture as well - true aesthetic, innate sense of beauty, good music, hidden symbolic depth behind the external lightness of Ukrainian baroque and stunning heroism. "Hutsulka Ksenya" have all of these - it is aesthetically appealing, including picture, various small details, colors, clothing and actors (how can you resist from falling in love with beautiful Varvara Lushchyk whose picking to perform Ksenia's role was somewhat unorthodox yet excellent decision) as well as wonderful experimental Ukrainian music performed by Dakh Daughters and DakhaBrakha. The story is seemingly sentimental, romantic and comedic, but in the core it is tragic considering time-frame circumstances (Polish occupation followed by Russian occupation) yet nonetheless it is somewhat life-affirming and devoted, even heroic, giving motivation of Ksenia and the professor to remain and to do what is right and meaningful, reminding of what present-days Ukrainian volunteers are doing in times of modern war with Russia. So, utterly unexpected from Ukrainian film, it is one of the best 2019 movies for me, along with "Chernobyl", "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and "Joker" .
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