Can a film be about going around a city and showing a glimpse of everyday life there without becoming a documentary? Yes, proves this Russian film: I walk around Moscow (aka Walking the Streets of Moscow). And it does so in an engaging and humorous style.
The film starts with a budding writer from Siberia getting down in Moscow’s airport in the morning and leaving the city in the evening. During the day, he befriends a young worker at Moscow’s Metro rail. Together they go around the city living their lives without any set plan or design, and, we get to see the beautiful city of Moscow and its people of a by-gone era.
There were many scenes that were brilliant, like the one where the young writer and his friend visits a famous author and gets fooled, or the one where the youngsters get an older lady to pretend to be a friend’s mother on the phone and others. I was surprised the Director could pack so much of life and emotions within in: There is a young couple who are about to be married, breakup, patch-up, get married, then breakup and so on; A silent love develops between another couple; A theft chase and police arrest; and many others. And there are hardly few dialogues in the whole film and all the scenes are brief to the point, which helps to keep a tight running time of just 76 minutes.
This film should be a must watch for all film makers on how to make one that’s simple, authentic, and elegant.