Maybe I didn’t give Brilliantovaya ruka quite enough credit. I only gave it a Netflix rating of 3, but there is an interesting part played by Nonna Modryukova.
It took me a while to remember where I had seen her before. She was the Komissar in the movie Komissar, and did a great job in that film. Some googling informed me that she had also been in the film Vokzal dlya Dvoikh. Of course. Now I remember. She was the “Uncle” who gave that subversive little talk about the virtues of private property and private enterprise.
In this film she plays a “house manager”, where she is a busybody pest who minds other peoples’ business, looks out for residents who are living beyond their means, and puts up public denunciations of people who don’t live properly (in the form of signs posted in front of the buildings where they live). Is she a parody of a type of character who was extant in Russia in 1968? I don’t know, but wish I understood more of how that worked.
I previously said the movie managed to show the police and other authorities as noble, virtuous people — very competent at what they were doing, and almost omniscient. It’s kind of hard to make a comedy/James Bond-type movie if you have to play the cops that way. But if this house manager was an authority figure, then we can say that not all authority figures were portrayed sympathetically. (Her response to the statement that a dog is a man’s best friend. “Man’s best friend is the superintendent.” I presume that’s another term for her character’s job.)
Was this part of the movie a bit subversive for 1968? I don’t know. But it’s fun trying to learn about things like that. I do know that I’ve enjoyed watching Nonna Mordyukova every time I’ve seen her so far.
I’m not sure if she is still alive or not. I saw one news item from a couple of years ago that suggested she was in bad health then.