How to make movie blues and piss off just about everyone. Review of the film “Choi”

Remember the seething brown masses around the film by Alexei Uchitel “Matilda”? Poklonskaya’s tantrums, Cossack raids, a schizo who drove into a cinema in a car with gas cylinders? Do you remember how some said that these were all attempts by black PR, so that people would go and see what all the fuss was about? After the release of the film “Choi” I am inclined to believe that everything was approximately the same.

So, in 2020, a new creation by Alexei Uchitel is released – the film “Tsoi”. I don’t think it’s worth explaining what kind of cult has developed around the leader of the Kino group in our country. A cult that, unfortunately, goes beyond reason. Because of the deification of the image of Tsoi, for example, many undeservedly zaheyli Kirill Serebrennikov’s wonderful film “Summer”, where, by the way, Tsoi had a secondary role. But in the film, which is called “Tsoi”, the role of the legendary musician is not even secondary. It simply does not exist. Let me explain now.

I was lucky: I went to the film knowing its rough synopsis and knowing that it would not be about Tsoi. If you are going to look, you should know too. The plot is based on the story of the driver of that fateful bus traveling along the Sloka-Talsi highway on August 15, 1990. BUT! The story is absolutely fictional, having nothing to do with reality. Namely: allegedly he himself was forced to carry the coffin with Tsoi’s body to Leningrad, and the musician’s wife Maryana, their son, her common-law husband Rick (aka Ricochet), Tsoi’s last love Natalia, unrequitedly in love with Tsoi, were traveling with him on the bus. photographer and producer Yura (aka Aizenshpis).

Once again: the story is absolutely fictional, which is stated in plain text. And this already puts a little in a stupor. The fact is that we are told the director’s fantasy about a driver who finds himself in such a tragic situation. And it seems that he even manages to start to empathize with him, but … You see, when real people are used in a fantastic plot, albeit with changed names, a contradiction always arises. “Well, it didn’t happen!” – I want to scream.

And here the spectators’ roads diverge in different directions. The overwhelming majority follow a simple and well-trodden path: “An insult to memory! Deny! Fine! A shame! Turned over in a coffin! ” But I choose a difficult and thorny path, because the cinema in some incomprehensible way sunk into my soul.

You see, I can’t break the film down into its component parts: “Here’s the acting, this is the soundtrack, the plot is such, the atmosphere is such.” Because all my impressions overlap with one common painful sensation that arises when watching this film. Because when you look at fictional characters, you start thinking about real characters. What was it really like for a real driver who crashed into Tsoi? How did Maryana, Natalya, Ricochet feel, taking into account a difficult love story? How did the musician’s little son behave? Did he understand that the Pope is no more and never will be? Indeed, at the time of Tsoi’s death, Sasha was five years old – the same age as my son is now.

At the same time, all the characters of the film are shown from different angles, except perhaps the villain of the producer (which, perhaps, went to the detriment of the film). It seems that Rick constantly drinks and grimaces, but in another scene he talks very warmly with the boy, and you understand: all this ostentatious behavior can be just a defensive reaction and an attempt not to show his feelings, his weakness.

Well, the story of the driver himself. As one saying goes, “the blues is when a good person feels bad.” The teacher made a blues movie. Sad, stringy, sometimes depressing blues about how even a good person can get into a bad situation.

But even the blues can end up relatively well. The reconciliation of the heroes on the ferry and the laconic conversation between Natalya and Maryana about Tsoi’s son, who became friends with the driver “- He feels good people. – Like Vitya.

So what is this movie about “Kino” or not about “Kino”? Viktor Tsoi has become a real legend in our country. And, as befits a legend, many fantastic and not so myths have accumulated around him over the years. There is even a beautiful story about his death – he allegedly turned over the cassette with the recording of the band’s new album, which was later called “Black Album”. It was she who was taken as a basis in the film.

Alexey Uchitel simply removed one more myth, making no claims to historicity or truthfulness. And as the final chord of this myth – a crowd of fans with a huge portrait of Tsoi in the cemetery of Leningrad. You need to be blind so as not to see the parallel with the procession and the icon.

Well, a few words about the controversy surrounding the film. Tsoi’s father and son wrote an open letter to Putin demanding that the film be banned, and for some reason this caused an unequivocal reaction among many people: “The heirs are unhappy, so the film is bad and it should be banned.” A similar story was with “Moving Up”, which, for some reason, did not like the widows of the coach and one of the players (it is not at all clear why).

Good on this score spoke out Alexey Vishnya, long-term sound engineer of “Kino”: “It is noteworthy that the shamanic dances of Tsoi’s heirs with a letter to the president did not lead to anything. The film received a rental certificate and was safely released on the screen. Most likely in the admin panel this hype was mistaken for a dispute between business entities, which, in fact, is the case, and they threw the letter into the trash can. “

In the same post, he is very skeptical about the film itself, but he does it very correctly and speaks about the artistic component, and not about the mythical desecration of memory.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to make a film based on real events or people and not offend anyone. Even if the film is entirely the director’s fantasy. And it is high time for the heirs of Tsoi and other celebrities to understand: this is not only your legacy. Yes, Choi was a living person, your son / father / friend / brother. But he was also a legend. He was and remains a legacy. This is not your Choi, this is OUR Choi. Perhaps this was exactly what the last frames of the film were about with a guy mowing under Tsoi.

Someone may not like the film “Choi”. Someone will like it. But in any case, whether to watch it or not should be your decision. And not by the decision of the heirs or one popular blogger, who will certainly make a hysterical review of him, because there in one place they managed to scold the USSR a little.

Well, for claims in the spirit of “And if gay porn is removed about Tsoi, will you also defend him?” (seriously, I’ve seen these before), I can only answer one thing: I will not watch it. And if you want, it’s your own business.

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