May 13, 2022

Chekhovian Motifs (2002)

Chekhovians Motifs is a 2002 Russian-Ukrainian comedy film directed by Kira Muratova. At the 2002 Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards Kira Muratova received the prize for Best Director. It is based on two works of Anton Chekhov: the short story Difficult People and the unfinished short play Tatyana Repina.

In a large Shiryaev family, the eldest of the children, student Pyotr, is trying to overcome his dependence on a despotic father. The resigned mother tries to protect him, the sister, thirteen-year-old Varvara, is indifferent to family quarrels. Leaving his parental home to go to the city to study, Peter instead ends up in a rural church for the wedding of a visiting bohemian. During a long church service, the guests, consumed by boredom and impatience, are distracted by a strange phenomenon: a woman wrapped in black and groaning appears in the church. Some of the guests, and then the groom himself, take her for the ghost of his previous lover, who committed suicide.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

F: Now this one is rough! A very hard movie to watch, especially because you are going to watch what feels almost like a full orthodox wedding ceremony! Me and Krasnaya both fell asleep 20 minutes before the end, and ended up watching the rest the day after.

K: Phew, Freddie it was really hard. Difficult, close to impossible to enjoy if you don't get into the right mood.

Father goes Nuts
I don't blame him.
F: I was very excited with the family scene at the beginning of the movie where the father (Sergey Popov) just snaps and goes completely bananas in anger after a very long, annoying and repetitive talk from his family at the dinner table. This was brilliant. The consequence, the father going mad, was 100% matched with the cause. I was laughing like crazy. I will leave the complete scene below our ratings.

K: Yes, this scene is very emotional! This signature technique of Kira Muratova to repeat the same phrase several times, was brought to the maximum! It is felt that she just wanted to evoke a response from the viewer, and so that everyone on the screen exploded as the father of the family did.
In general, in Chekhov's motives, all the characters are equally disgusting, and all their actions caused me unbearable sadness. Kira Muratova showed as much as possible that people are not what they should be. She shows us everyone like some kind of farm pig.

Wedding scene Chekhovian Motifs
Even the actors couldn't handle it.
F: Unfortunately, apart from the scene I've mentioned and the ending scene, this movie didn't make it for me, it was a painful boring experience. It needed a little Renata Litvinova (link) perhaps? Tomorrow we will watch the last movie of this week's theme (Kira Muratova), The Asthenic Syndrome, which is considered Muratova's masterpiece.

K: It was boring this time. But, I do not deny that in a few years, if I watch it again, it might leave different feelings. All Muratova's films have a persistent aftertaste, no matter how boring they may seem. They always make you think and this is already an achievement.

Chekhovian motifs make you sleepy
Freddy's Score: 30/100
Krasnaya's Score: 30/100



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