Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Aleksandr Pashutin, Yevgeny Sidikhin, Andrei Ilyin, Yelena Shevchenko, Karina Razumovskaya
Director: Yuri Kuzin
Genres: Indie & Art House
Young Katya lives in a small provincial town where she dreams of finding her prince charming. Of course, she can't help falling in love with a stern skipper and goes to Moscow to learn about his secret past. One night soon... more »
Entertaining, Lyrical, and Funny
Roger Shreeve | North Yorkshire, England, UK | 12/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin by writing I liked this film and recommend it for anyone interested in contemporary Russian cinema. The Ark, or Kovcheg, is not the greatest film ever made, but it is enjoyable (hence 4 out of 5 stars). I consider this a good introductory picture for people looking to view a modern Russian film. It is not a romantic-comedy, but a strange romance with dashes of Russian humor.
Yuri Kuzin's adaptation of Gennady Shpalikov's "The Wharf" is a light-hearted, yet touching tale of two characters, the Skipper & Katya. It is a tale of a man crushed by life and perservering. It is also the story of a young girl looking and finding love. In other words, this movie is a comedy in the original sense of the word.
Katya, portrayed by Karina Razumovskaya in her debut film, is a girl from "the backwoods of Russia" dreaming of romance and falling in love with the stern, yet sympathetic skipper [a role played by Yevgeny Sidikin, winner of the Best Actor Award at the "Faces Of Love" Film Festival, 2003 (Moscow)]. Stowing away on the skipper's barge, Katya goes to Moscow wishing to unravel the enigma he is. One night in the capital changes both their lives, making them better able to understand and appreciate each other.
Strong secondary performances are provided by Yelena Shevchenko, Alexander Pashutin, Andrei Ilyin, Sergey Shekhovstov, Alexander Mokhov, and Kirill Sinitsyn as the characters who come and go through the story providing depth and understanding to the hero and heroine.
The positives and negatives I think the film had. I begin with the negatives: 1) The story opens with events already in motion with barely an background. The attempts at providing flashbacks work well for the skipper's character, but what about Katya? 2) It seemed the camera lingered too long on certain places when events had already passed it. Now let me review the positives: 1) Karina Razumovskaya does a delightful job playing the head-strong, determined Katya. 2) Yevgeny Sidikhin carries his role well in making the skipper an endearing, yet strong character. 3) Yuri Kuzin's script wrote and directed an adaptation that too easily could have become over-done and sentimental, but does not. It showed an appreciation of life's sublte, yet touching and most enigmatic moments. I'm glad he showed it.
Technically, the film was made in 1999 but became available on DVD with Russian (Cyrilic) and English covers in 2003. Although Russian languaged, it comes with Russian, English, French, Spanish, and German subtitles. The Special Features segments include an interview with scriptwriter and director Yuri Kuzin; music not included in the film; sketches of sets; a photo album; filmographies; and a "Coming soon on DVD" section. Finally, it is mulizoned (Regions 1-6, North America is Region 1 [NSTC Format] and Great Britain is Region 2 [PAL Format]). In other words, it can be viewed outside of Russia or continental Europe (Regions 3-5).
In conclusion, although I'm not a professional movie critic, I advise anyone interested in broadening their film palet by viewing Kovcheg, a good example of a modern Russian work. Ms. Razumovskaya's embodiment of energetic youth played against Mr. Sidikhin's portrayal of worldly weariness strike the proper balance in Yuri Kuzin's strange humorous-romance, The Ark."
Absolutely delightful--just see it!!
World Citizen | Columbus, OH for now, the 777 got old! | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the "new" Russsian movies, in that it is not about war or mafia--as so many are. It is about Katya, one of the most delightful new female stars I have seen in a long time! More importantly, Katya knows what she wants [someone to Love her] and instead of just waiting for fate--she does everything she can to make her Love happen, not without some problems. But the problems only show her and her future Love as human beings looking for happiness. And in the end, isn't everybody? If you are learning Russian it is slow paced and easy to understand. However, I would not recommend it for use in college classroms because EVERY male student will be going off to Moscow the next break to take a trip down the Volga. Yes, she is that enchanting!"
Charming, lyrical, heartwarming comedy
Twilight Princess | London | 08/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beautifully filmed and subtly humorous, this fable-like film follows the adventures of a girl fearlessly seeking love and the object of her affections - a somewhat melancholy and inscrutable skipper of a most unconventional barge.
Not to be taken literally, the film has a fairy tale quality. The characters unfold slowly, revealing loss and sadness, and a life-affirming message.