Carbon based biped.
- Apr 18, 2015
Chernovik (English title: Rough Draft) has just been released in Russia following some hype. This is a film based on an untranslated novel by Sergie Lukyanenko who is known for the `Day Watch` and `Night Watch` franchise.
I expect it will be available in English before long.
With a 12+ rating I thought it's be more of a `family film` -ie for kids in the main, but he seems to be going for the same young adult audience here. The only difference is that this is less in the horror vein - more straight fantasy.
A twenty something video games designer - Kirrill - finds that his identity has vanished al of a sudden - nobody knows him and someone else is living in his flat. Then he discovers that he has been assigned the role of a `curator` of a waystation between different paralell universes all of which constitute different versions of Earth (well, Moscow anyway).
He lives in a small stone tower bang in the centre of Moscow. People come in from one door, show their ID and pay him some money - and then exit out the other door into an alternate Moscow. One of these is a steampunk Moscow, with airships and steam driven cars, another is a tropical paradise Moscow, then we have a crude Stalinist Moscow and a futuristic Chinese run (?) run still-socialist Moscow...and so on.
It owes much to the vein of fantasy running through Russian literature in Bulgakov and the Strugatsky brothers...but also to C.S Lewis.
It is a bit of a jamboree: visually spectacular and with showdowns between wizards and warlocks and that sort of thing. Look out for killer robot matrioshka dolls too! There is a token love interest, but what stands out more is Kirril's `bromance` with a fellow games designer - the only person who recognises him in every world.
The interdimensional stuff is very zeitgeisty, but one of the main philosophical ideas in it -viz that our world is just a `rough draft` from which better variants are made, is not explored enough. As with `Day Watch` et al, there's mre flash than substance.
If you enjoyed `Daywatch` you'll love this, but I'm not sure what, if anything, I got from it.
6/10 - bearing in mind my Russian is patchy.