Have you ever thought are there really so many differences between cultures, countries? Sure, there are, but sometimes these differences are so magnified due to some sort of all political disagreements. Perhaps, one of the most known example of this situation of USA-USSR relationship, and today it would be USA –Russia relationship. So, it is always interesting how these difficult relationship are shown in movies. Of course, very rarely it is shown objectively, mostly it‘s from someone‘s perspective, but it is a good thing when it is shown with humor (especially, if it‘s done nicely, lightly) though sometime it‘s far from being funny.
Pretty often one side or other uses those well known stereotypes with which politicians try to brainwash us, our minds. But when you think about it, these differences aren‘t that big, stereotypes are way too silly to be true and, in fact, all this bullshit is used only to raise hate, fear and other bad things.
So. Today I‘ll discuss another Russian comedy „Moscow-Russia Express“. I can‘t say this is a brilliant stuff to watch, however, it has some good points. First of all, through the self irony lense we can observe the curiosities of Russian lives, silliness of stereotypes that Americans bring with them about Russia and how these two worlds come together. They even hired an American actor to have a stronger effect and build some sort of a bridge between the two countries.
Michael Madsen one of the American actors to star in Russian film and to encourage the American-Russian relationship :). Kidding. Actually, American actors are invinted to star in Russian films mostly because of marketing purposes, because why not? He‘s famous, known, people like him, plus, everyone will be curious to see him in local film production.
Getting to the point
This film is about a regular guy‘s – Sergey (Sergey Svetlakov) story who is ready for everything to make a good video that could reach lots of views on Youtube. Thats‘s what this guy do, it‘s his occupation – to become famous on Youtube (because anyone with the help of the Internet can become famous for anything). Actually throughout the entire film we can observe lots of Russian Youtube videos that are funny and crazy based on fools and roads theme mainly that make up a very bad combination. Those who like these kind of videos might be quite pleased to see them in the movie. But mainly, this film is about how you can‘t understand Russia by your mind, especially if you‘re a foreigner :). However there are certain things that even a local won‘t be able to understand: like, male mermaids.
All this is true, just like the fact that in this movie we did not escape the Russian patriotism subject as well. All this being proud of being Russian, being proud of living in Russia despite all the bad things happening here. Of course, it is all shown quite sarcastically, exotic in some way, however, this pride stands higher that intentional sarcasm and ability to laugh at yourself. Moreover, this pride of being the representative of a certain country, nationality is visible in every place of the world, in the same USA there‘s plenty of movies, TV shows where we can see and feel the message of how America is great, how great it is to be American, etc. But of course, there are also TV and film production that sends this American pride message in a sarcastic way.
I so enjoyed the conducter character. Such a faboluous woman, so cartoonically played. Actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite did a good job playing this character which is so not typical to her. It was a blast to watch her. And travelling in a overfilled train might be the biggest adventure you‘ll have in your life :). Or it will prevent you from travelling by train forever.
Talking about the soundrack… Well, I‘ll give 10 points for the soundrack. The way all the songs were picked… They amazingly fitted to certain situation in the movie. However, for those who don‘t speak Russian that won‘t work and seem right and funny, because they won‘t be able to understand those lyrics of the songs.
Stepping aside, I just have to mention the limit of crazyness that people might reach. Or, maybe, I should mention the absence of any kinds of limits if you‘re ready to risk your own health, life just to make a short video, upload it on Youtube so it could reach millions of watches. Seriously? I don‘t understand this. Really, I don‘t. I don‘t understand this need to post these videos or photos of yours all the time. I don‘t understand this need to be followed, liked, etc. on social media. I mean, I prefer living an actual life instead of living it on social media.
Another thing – plane / flight fear a thing we laughed while watching this film. But actually, it is a quite terrible thing especially if you have to fly on a plane. You know, any kind of fear is terrible, it sucks to have fears. It makes our life so much harder. Better not have them.
To the things I did not like:
- I understand that drunk people, drunk and agressive people might seem funny in a comedy film, but to portray your entire country like that (even though the rest of the world thinks it‘s exactly how it is) doesn‘t look good somehow. To portay citizens of your country as killers, thieves, etc. (even if there are such people) and laugh at this in some way seems self humiliating. I might be wrong, but when there‘s too much of all this it does not seem neither funny nor pleasant.
- And to learn and understand Russian soul does not mean to get drunk and in fight and never give up. Just like it does not mean to understand a German you have to drink beer in huge quantities and eat bratwurst, or drive like mad man, shot in a street to understand an American. No. To understand specific nationality it takes so much more time and effort to put. And to count only on stereotypes isn‘t the best option, though this particular film is entirely based on stereotypes about Russia coming both from American perspective and Russians itself (and those coming from films made in these countries).