May 112008
 

Tonight we watched the rest of Irony of Fate, the Sequel. It was better than we had expected — not bad for a sequel. It was fun to see all the actors again, 30 years older than in the original. Andrei Myagkov and Yuri Yaklovev have aged nicely. Barbara Brylska looks great, but surely has had some top-notch help from plastic surgeons to look that good in her mid 60s. It would have been nice to see Liya Akhedzhakova, too. She is the only character, other than the two mothers, who I found missing in the sequel.

The original from 1975, besides being a goofy comedy and a love story, was a satire on the uniformity of the Brezhnev era. This one is in part a satire on the cell phone culture.

If there is any doubt that this is a post-Soviet movie, the militsia (police) are portrayed as sleepy, good-natured drunks (it’s New Year’s Eve, after all) who are easily deceived and bribed. I wonder how long Putin will allow that before movies have to go back to portraying them as in the Soviet days.

The younger generation of actors did fine work, I thought. Sergei Bezrukov as Irakliy was great. I’d like to see what other kinds of characters he can play. I was rooting for a reformed Irakliy who learns to get his priorities straight would to get the girl in the end (and kiss her without interruptions from that cell phone attached to his head) but it was not to be. Konstantin Khabensky, who plays Zhenya’s son, does fine as a drunken Russian, but drunken Russians are a dime a dozen in movies. Liza Boyarskaya as Nadya, Jr. doesn’t have a lot to do besides look pretty — compared to what Barbara Brylska did in the original — but she showed some signs of being a capable actress anyway.

Reticulator