• Movie Review

    Chernobyl 1986 (2021)

    Next to the horrific Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs, when we think of nuclear disasters what comes to mind are the tragic incidents in Fukushima (Japan) and Chernobyl (in erstwhile USSR). Other than reading in the news about these, I knew very little about the human tragedies involved in these world-changing events. A few years ago, when I saw the film “The Seal of the Sun (2016)” it was unbelievable to see that the disciplined Japanese could’ve been so irresponsible in leading to the Fukushima meltdown and did very little to contain the damage. This led me interested in learning about the Chernobyl incident, so when I saw the listing…

  • Movie Review

    Office Romance (1977)

    Office Romance (Sluzhebnyy roman) is a Russian Romantic Comedy from the 1970s. Watching the film feels like a time travel to Moscow of the Soviet era. Director Eldar Ryazanov has taken the familiar story of workplace love between a boss and subordinate and delivered a masterpiece by being honest to the characters portrayed and the society around them. A must-watch film that’s available for free on YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2). The entire story happens in the statistics bureau in Moscow. The film starts with workers arriving at the office through various modes of transport. We get introduced to the main characters through narration by the protagonist Anatoly Novoseltsev,…

  • Movie Review

    I walk around Moscow (1964)

    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 is made available for free by Russian Centre of Science & Culture, New Delhi on YouTube. 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…

  • Movie Review

    12 stulev (1971)

    How to do a satire of a then prevailing repressive regime, without actually been seen as being one? To see one that’s done well, check out this comedy film “The Twelve Chairs (1971)“. It is an adaptation of Ilf and Petrov’s 1928 Russian novel The Twelve Chairs. With a running time of 2h 39 min, it was long, and you need a lot of patience to get through the film whose story was obvious from the beginning. What makes you sit through was the brilliant direction by Director Leonid Gaidai who gives you a satisfaction of watching an epic with a variety of scenes, places, supporting characters and subplots, all…

  • Brilliantovaya ruka (1969)
    Movie Review

    The Diamond Arm (1969)

    The Diamond Arm (1969) aka Brilliantovaya ruka (1969), is a Russian Comedy film that had a homespun feeling yet was jocular and entertaining. A good way to spend a evening watching this film. The film is made available for free by Russian Centre of Science & Culture, New Delhi on YouTube. A hardworking simpleton named Semyon,  in Soviet Russia, is sent by his loving wife on a luxury cruise ride to Istanbul. On his return, an incompetent gang of smugglers, mistake him for their accomplish and cast his arm with diamonds and jewelry.  What happens next, did they recover their loot or did Semyon get into trouble? I grew up in an India…