Movie Critic: A Russian comedy with a guarantee

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Oct. 1, 2012, 5:42 p.m. | Movies — by Daryna Shevchenko

Olga Volkova, a granny, who comes to the shopping mall once in a week feeds loved-by-all security guard and grumble around.

Russian comedies usually give me the unpleasant feeling of committing a sin against world of cinema. And nothing predicted any change this time. The “The Man With A Guarantee” didn't sound like something worth two hours of my lifetime, though I always give in to the “why not?” argument.

I was 10 minutes late, but it took me just a few seconds to understand what it is about. Every next turn of the story could be easily guessed and the whole idea was trivial.

The movie starts with the argument between two business partners – a fat man in his 40s and a nice woman in her 30s. Iryna (Nona Grishaeva) owes some big sum of money to Volodya (Dmitriy Nagiev) and instead of paying it out, bet with her creditor about...getting married with an average Russian man in five days. From here out, this is the only rather unexpected turn of the plot.

So according to the bet, she had to start working in one of her fancy shopping malls, as... well, here is the question. I couldn't decide what her job is until the end of the film and actually the end didn't explain me anything. Iryna became an intern for the security guard and was doing just everything, from putting the stickers on the products to washing the floor and selling underwear. What the security guard was supposed to teach her left a forever mystery.

The guard himself is a cute guy who helps everyone and has an unusual life story. He actually appears to be someone like the good spirit of the shopping mall he works and lives in, but he is basically just a weird guy with strange ideas. He, of course, falls in love with his charming and self-motivated intern and the things almost work out for her as the five days end, but… evil spirits (the creditor) ruin everything and the princess (business lady Iryna) have to lose and then get everything back again. Bla-bla-bla.

Aside from the plot, the jokes are sharp-witted, the actors are good and the minor characters give a perfect picture of life in modern Russian city and relationships within Russian society.

For example somewhere in the middle of the movie heroine finds out that they can eat all the expired products, sleep in beds in furniture department and take shower in jacuzzis from sanitary ware department.

The other great reality shot is definitely Baba Nadya, starring Olga Volkova. She is the granny who comes to the shopping mall once in a week feeds loved-by-all security guard and grumble around. She comes from one shop to another, reads the prices and curses a storm. The security guard explains that she just needs some time to express her feelings before she can go back to harmony in her life. The only this episode, I think, can be an enough excuse for the too simple story.

It was easy to laugh during this movie. I don't want to describe it as a somewhat romantic drama-comedy, even though the director was obviously trying to make it one. It was definitely one of the few Russian comedies I would recommend.

The Man With The Guarantee”

Sept. 27 – Oct. 3

at all Kyiv cinemas

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