In the Soviet Union in 1936, shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. The accusations of being him a foreign spy are nonsense, and all known that, but a slow process of his life's downfall is already running.
A driver is traveling from Italy to Russia in a brand new Fiat Tempra, mesmerizing women along the way. He has to use car's full potential and features when he picks up a pregnant hitchhiker in the tough Russian winter.
Contemporary Russia. Nadya gives up her dream of becoming a champion figure skater when she is hospitalized with an injury. But then she meets Sasha, a hockey player, who decides to teach her to believe in herself and her dream again.
Only one night with the stranger becomes the real delusion for the main character. This "sunstroke" doesn't release it even in most "damned days" of death of the Russian Empire - According to the story of the same name and Ivan Bunin's diaries "Damned days".
This movie is actually two different stories. One is Bunin's short story Sunstroke which is shown in a beautiful and poetic way in the movie. It represents the past, old Russia, the time Bunin never dropped in his mind. The other is taken from his famous anti Bolshevism book Cursed Days. This part is shown in the movie, in a wet and muddy way, about a group of old officers waiting for their destiny after signed their declarations of surrender.
It is understandable that the director tried to divide these two stories. Old is good, elegant, beautiful, lovely, honestly. New is chaotic, dirty, brutal, empty. Although one may not fully agree with it, but this is what Ivan Bunin's understanding of Bolshevism Revolution and the opinion is widely accepted after the collapse of Soviet Russia. Nikita Mikhalkov's most famous movies are almost about the same attitude.
But the director also used his movie to pay tribute to old Soviet movie traditions. There's an astonishing shot of a baby carriage rolling downsteps, which is obviously something reminding Eisenstein. There's also certain images reminding Bondalchuk.
So far there's no problem with the two stories go in parallel. But at the very end the stories tried to reach a point of combination. This became so hard to believe that the climax felt a little bit strange.
Still it's a great movie. Despite its length, the storytelling speed is extremely well that one hardly felt the time's gone. It might also be one element the director had in mind. Time went without raising attention, old time went like river never comes back.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this