Select language: Рус / Eng

«GORKO!» (Wedding Kisses)

In 1997, Yuri Mamin received an offer from private investors to shoot a funny, non-social, and purely entertaining comedy with a wedding theme.

The proposed theme evoked the story of “The Decameron” for the director. The collection of novellas by Boccaccio, a Renaissance masterpiece, is intended as a narrative of uninhibited fun and frivolous stories, full of crude folk humor and vulgar themes.

Having brought his colleagues Vladimir Vardunas and Arkady Tigai on board, Mamin, along with them, came up with a script, consisting of 10 novellas. Each of the collaborators brought their own stories to the script, some of which are original, while others are taken from real life.

Vardunas came up with a few paradoxical anecdotes on the wedding theme. For example, the story of a groom, who stuck his finger in a mailbox and missed his wedding. Another involves the story of an alcoholic-groom, who, together with his trashy relatives betrays his tempestuous passion for vodka right at the wedding.

Tigai proposed a remarkable true story: the story of his grandfather about how, as a young Soviet soldier in liberated Poland, he taught a beautiful Polish girl to mow the grass. Although their affair went no further, this event remained the brightest love story of his life. The role of the grandfather in the film was played by the remarkable actor Kirill Lavrov.

Mamin introduced a story about a bachelor who fell in love with a television presenter and, succumbing to the provocation, finds himself a participant of the TV show “The Smith of Happiness”. There, they put a ring on his finger, making him the husband of a brutal woman.

The film had as many passionate supporters as uncompromising adversaries, who were irritated by the frivolous inhibition of stories related to the theme of love, which was perceived as vulgar by some critics. From the modern point of view, when crude vulgarity has become a common sight, all the indecency contained in the film “Gor’ko!” looks like an innocent prank.
Even so, the director himself does not consider this film to be his greatest achievement.

“The film is uneven”, he says. “Some of the stories are novel highly successful, while others have not achieved the desired result. The problem is in the montage.  The film’s producer, Igor Kalenov, sent the film to print, not carrying out my request to give me a chance to try out the film on an audience in order to make changes to the editing.  My request seemed like just a whim, which he did not take seriously. In reality, preview screening of an edited film is the most important stage of the filmmaker’s work.  Particularly, the first showing of the film to the viewer allows the author to look at his work with a fresh eye, having rid himself of the task of routine work.  I, personally, have been saved several times from making serious editing mistakes by having preview screenings. Unfortunately, in the case of the film "Gor’ko!" this did not happen.

At the festival “Window to Europe” in Vyborg, the film “Gor’ko! “ was very warmly received by viewers and won the prize of best comedy film.

© Katerina Ksenyeva 2011