Or to be accurate with grandma‘s ghost. And to be fair, none of this makes any familly typical at this point. However, this is a story about a family: a regular Russian family. In this family we see a hypochondric dad, a mom, their teenager troublerd daughter and a grandma – Ada (she‘s the boss in the house), and all this family is „The Family of Ada “ / „Ada’s family“ („Семейка Ады“). This is a story about a poor family (so don‘t expect much glamour), they live in an apparatment in poor neighbourhood (with nosy old neigbours), far from Moscow center. They lack of money, and clearly I didn‘t get the point where do they take the Money from: mom sells stuff, like cosmetic, dad seems not to work and grandma tries to win a fortune through lottery. Plus, there‘s a lot whole of old stuff at their place. But that‘s not the point, it‘s just details.
The point is, that Ada dies. It‘s a pre- New year‘s accident: she was setting a Christmas tree, she was old and one thing led to another… She died. However, she returned as a ghost that only her family members could see. Not enough that Ada is dead, came back as a ghost she also left their appartment to her other son. Now that‘s a good news. All this was her farewell-learn-to-live-on-your-own present. Overall, grandma‘s character is awesome.
But Ada isn‘t the only crucial character. Maria / Matilda is also a very important character for this movie. She‘s this teenager who lives a life with no perspectives or motivation, just like her parents did all their life. And what‘s even more scary she understands it but is uncapable to do anything. Well, maybe to run away. And she gets this chance to leave, but then all the secrets come up.
Maria / Matilda meets her uncle (she never knew she had one), her dad‘s twin brother. However, with the appearance of her uncle things start to become even more intense. Maria‘s / Matilda‘s uncle Piotr lives completely different life than she and her parents. He‘s rich, fun, working as a producer so he constantly meets celebrities, he lives a full and luxurious life and he brings bright colors to her life. He even introduces her to her favourite band. And then the fairy tale ends as Maria‘s / Matilda‘s uncle turns out to be her father.
And at this point we face this family secrets issue. Most of the families have them: smaller or bigger. The problem is at what point should they be held and how to deal with them. Because, let‘s face it, sometimes it can be too hard to handle them. And why are they made in the first place? To protect? Prevent from pain? Sooner or later it‘ll happen anyway. Like with Matilda. It‘s good that everything ended quite well, but to find out that the man you thought was your dad is actually your uncle… I mean it‘s groundbraking news, it‘s like your entire world crashes down. Don‘t you think?
Another issue: can a showed up out of nowhere dad just take a child to live with him? Just like that as if nothing ever happened? Sure, it‘s easy you just show up, bring a lot of presents and you‘re a good dad. It‘s just buying, bribing your child, it‘s not about caring, loving or thinking about him. It‘s thinking about your own ego. To show up in child‘s life out of nowhere is already traumatic and to change his world upside down is absolutely catastrophic.
What touched me the most in this movie, was Matilda‘s telling the story of her grandma died and her realisation that if she could have helped her grandma she could still be alive. It was very sad scene that shows us that pretty often we refuse to help the ones that asks us for it. And at the same time we don‘t even realise that this might be the last time they asks us for it, and that one day we might regret of not helping them.
In this movie is also very interestingly shown that grief might come later. In case of Matilda that is exactly what happened. Her grief of loosing her grandma came at the end of the movie, though she died in the beginning. Well, in real life grief Works differently on different people as well. For some it comes immediately, for some much later. That‘s just how we are – we all are different, individual cases. Maybe there‘s something wrong when people can‘t experience and go through grief?
All in all, when you think about it, it‘s quite a tragic and sad story showed in a funny way. And even though there‘s this element of fun and comedy it still touches you in a dramatic way. And at the end, grandma showed up to reveal the secrets and bring back the family together. And the appartment…? It was just a joke.
Once in a while, discussing one movie or another I mention certain cast selection. This time I‘d like to mention Mikhail Yefremov (some might know his father Oleg). It‘s an extrmely talendted actor who can play probably anything. In this movie he played twins and he did a great job portraying two different people.