The Book or the Movie? 


I just finished watching a movie by G. Sidorov based on M. Ageyev's novel "Cocaine Romance" three minutes ago, so I'm ready to share my impressions about it with you, my dear readers!


Let me equip you with a few of introductory words about the film and the book.


"Cocaine Romance" is a short novel written by Marc Levi, not that popular French "enfant pourri" who is adored by MOI and by a French audience (and it's reasonable) you may have thought of (and his surname is LEVY, BTW), but by a Russian novelist hardly known in his motherland (shame on HER), and whose life is "shrouded in mystery and conjecture".


M. Ageyev is a nom-de-plume.


I had first read the book of the same name, of course, and only now I'm watching the film of the same name though it dates back to 2013. So I read it earlier in the dark ages when I had my practice at the Univerpity. University.


Actually, I hate when directors have balls courage to make a film out of a book. Especially, out of classics. If a director decides to make a film version of some 'ready-to-shoot' scenarios they, in most cases, blunder. IMHO, it might work for science fiction or horror films, but not for stories literally etched in words by some genious minds. And isn't it impudent to dare to reanalize what's already immortal, let alone the film version is 'an author's interpretation and has nothing to do with the original novel' like most of directors say. So let it be if the film makers don't have pretentions (but I'm sure that everyone does).


"Cocaine Romance" doesn't make an exception. They say that one can utter a good word or nothing about a dead man. So I can't judge G. Sidorov's work. I'm not a professional film critic either. Let me just expload with my subjectiveness.






I can remember when I once was pacing along the street full of white mild cornflakes falling down on my cheap "doudoune" jacket with a faux fur string along its hood's rim, and there was an audiobook by M. Ageyev (aka M. Levi) in my Transcend headphones playing, and there was also something magic that was deep inside me, ticklishing my sensitive mind. The book had brought me to a different epoch which was a part of the narration. In the film I saw only some ephemeral echoes of it. Even Xenya Sobchac with her languishing manners couldn't help. But her looks were amazing, I must say. I can't say the same about her acting though. You may answer me back that she is not a professional actress. OK, I'll buy it! The photos don't make those beautiful garments she wore justice though like the screen does. Or I'd like to see them in real. Look:

Photo credit: http://afisha.mail.ru/

Photo credit: http://dom-durdom.ru/


I can remember how I burst out crying desperately when the main character's mother died, here I laughed when I saw two policemen who were cartooned in a very 'left-wing' way. Do you remember the scene when they robbed Vadim? That's hilarious. And there were many scenes like that. Sometimes I can't understand when Russian film makers are serious and when they are not. 
Finally, I can say that I'm not impressed by the film as much as I had been impressed by the book, although there you could see some scenes which were worth one's attention. So I say: "The book!" What do you think, darlings? 




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Faithfully yours, 

Maurice Chabale

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