Director Sergei Kuznetsov, who won the Best Debut Award at the Window to Europe six years ago (the movie Deliverance), returns to the festival with the fancy Western Seven Drunkards. It is simply impossible to find money for a bold genre movie in Russia, which is why a film was shot for a penny of money collected, including through crowdfunding.
In addition, a caption appears in the beginning of The Seven Drunkards — Dedicated to Roger Corman. Kuznetsov and the company (it is worth noting that some of the actors part-time acted here and in the role of operators) make cheap, punk-like films that do without the stifling support of state funds. At the same time, Western turned out to be quite patriotic — instead of imported rock and roll, they play songs of Konstantin Stupin, underground marginal punk, and the Mojave desert is replaced by Kazakh wastelands and canyons.
The history of “The Seven Drunkards” at the same time does not look specific to any country — these are Western stamps and universals, which look equally logical for America and Italy, and, it turns out, for Russia. The world came to an end again — in the near future, humanity (and horses at the same time) was mowed by the equine flu epidemic.
Now around there is only a joyless post-apocalyptic desert, in which — that's the irony! — the dry law reigns. True, the narrator lures the viewer with a story about a heavenly place called the Divine Bar. Getting there is not so easy, but there will be a drink, affordable women, and simple human happiness.
The main luxury and vehicle in the conditions of the post-apocalypse is a rusty bicycle, of which there are already going to several pieces. A wild gang, moving in the direction of the Divine Bar, is gradually expanding — here are a couple of former colleague thugs Kroshka Vitalik and Dirty Dimas, and a suspicious holy father, and the half-blind alcoholic Krot.
The “Seven Drunkards” vigorously begin with the gags (there is a natural ode to tanu, which turns out to be a super-drink more abruptly than water and alcohol), famously stuff the clip with biting quotes, demonstrate knowledge of genre cliches, but at some point they are very disappointed to exhaust themselves. Despite the “craftiness” of this movie, the concentration of humor in it is not very strong — and until the finale the comic disappears completely.
At the same time, Kuznetsov and the company turned out to be an exemplary example of how to shoot a parody of genre movies — constant stylization for the film, super-large plans, ridiculous camera solutions. This is not an insulting mockery of a cheap western, but an ode to the love of this setting. The “Seven Drunkards” has a chance to become a cult film due to the unique atmosphere and ability cleverly manages the genre visual range.
The Seven Drunkards will surely appeal to fans of The Six-String Samurai and the first parts of the Fallout computer game — absurd jokes and desert landscapes, where lawlessness and copyright arbitrariness reigns. Kuznetsov manages to create the atmosphere of some kind of side quest of the post-apocalyptic RPG, in which his film would look like a glove. However, after the finale, the thirst to see this world as a whole can only intensify — it seems that we were shown only a demo version of a much steeper spectacle.
Author: Marat Shabaev