Festival critics, and with them the Russian audience, fell on Groundhog Day — however, they survive a whole decade, returning to the 90s by the will of directors and scriptwriters over and over again. The damned period peeps from the “Russian demon” of Gregory of Constantinople, is full of foreign clothes in the Belarusian “Crystal” Daria Zhuk, beats Boris Akopova directly on the forehead in the “Bull”. And here is the entry — Ivan Snezhkin, the son of Sergei Snezhkin (“Bury me behind the plinth”), who graduated from VGIK, will make his debut in full meter. The director did not plan to compete with Brother, but he entered into competition with Zhmurki, not an action movie, but an adventurous comedy about the 90s.
Instead of bandits — three St. Petersburg boys playing in adulthood. Vova, Lesha and Mammad are not admitted to school final exams, so they will not see any certificates. The three of them love to fantasize about the figured classmate Svetka (here's a male gaze for you, get-sign), who wants to ride a chic car, eat in a chic restaurant, and refuses to continue studying. In general, we need to somehow get money — not for Svetka, but for adulthood.
The solution is almost immediately — Lesha’s brother received a new liver for transplantation, and the local bartender / bandit Kostik desperately needs this organ. He is ready to pay rabid grandmothers, and he doesn’t feel sorry for the disabled relative — he’s just a freak over (it’s possible that Snezhkin will draw on himself the anger that fell on “Temporary difficulties” last year).
In principle, Liver successfully avoids Balabanov’s shadow, and even specifically Zhmurok (although Kostika is played by Sergey Makovetsky), making the main characters outspoken children — infantilism multiplied by a thirst for quick profit, sketchy earning plans and a howling wind in the head. True — this is bad luck! — it turns out that Snezhkin stepped on the field of Guy Ritchie.
Vova, Lesha and Mammad (however, friends and enemies often call him simply “chock”) walk around the well-yards and, of course, the St. Petersburg embankments, and the 90s splendidly blossom around — then they routinely fill up the bandit in a crimson jacket, something something interesting will explode. The main characters don’t give a damn about it, but from time to time they stare at a new state of emergency until the same cop drives them away — this gag leitmotif passes through the whole film and seems to be trying to ironize the cliche about the spirit of that time.
It’s just that “Liver” alone cannot offer anything other than producing new stamps. The ironic face, plus the meticulous reproduction of an already stagnant one, will not result in anything new. All the same licked hair, strip clubs, gangster ultimatums, bad cops and hot-tempered non-Russians. The copy of the copies was to be saved by the spirit of youth — after all, in the “Liver” three young actors (Daniil Vakhrushev, Evgeny Egorov, Murad Khamedov) play the role of adventurers, but their whole charisma fades compared to any appearance on the screen of Makovetsky.
The debut of Ivan Snezhkin really lacks innovation and charm. The editing here is generally standard, although one could take the same Richie or Edgar Wright as an example to revive the genre cliches. Lyrical digressions do not cause any interest — the viewer knows from the very beginning that Vova has survived to the present and is installing plastic windows. The default jazz player constantly plays behind the scenes, flashbacks are decorated in bad b / w, morality and conclusions are clear.
At a time when even the youth trendsetters of the 2010s sing about the 90s, you need to try and show your imagination. True, she apparently refused at Liver — and even at the final credits she plays the very songs of Monetochka.
Author: Marat Shabaev