Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Serf comedy becomes top grossing Russian film



Serf comedy becomes top grossing Russian film

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Serf comedy becomes top grossing Russian film

A comedy that tells the story of a misbehaving rich kid waking up as a 19th century serf has become the highest grossing Russian film of all time in its home market.

Since its release in late December, “Serf” has garnered more than 3 billion rubles ($47 million) in Russia and a number of post-Soviet countries known as the Commonwealth of Independent States, kinobusiness.com, the film industry website, said on Monday.

Only James Cameron’s sci-fi epic “Avatar”, which grossed 3.6 billion rubles ($57 million) in the country, has raked more in the box office so far.

Directed by US-educated Klim Shipenko and starring Serbian actor Milos Bikovic, the film tells the story of Grisha, an entitled rich young man who one day wakes up in the 19th century and finds out he’s a serf.

In reality, Grisha’s oligarch father, fed up with his son’s shenanigans, had teamed up with a psychologist to build a simulated 19th century village to re-educate his son who believes he has traveled back in time after a car accident.

“We could not expect such success but we dreamt about it,” the 36-year-old Shipenko told AFP. He said a number of factors were at play including the time of the release, its appeal to a wide audience and pure “luck.”

Speaking in an interview with Meduza news website, Shipenko compared his film to “The Truman Show”, a 1998 American science fiction comedy-drama starring Jim Carrey, and said his movie made people both laugh and cry.

“It’s a summery movie,” he said, adding that moviegoers wanted to have a good laugh and escape Russia’s winter, especially during the long New Year’s holidays.

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta said the movie combines elements of a melodrama, period sitcom and action film and appeals to both young and older audiences.

“We were not afraid of touching upon serious subjects,” Shipenko told Novaya Gazeta, adding that the main character turns to God in the end of the film.

Witnesses said that after the screenings many in the audience stood up to applaud and some cried out “Bravo”.

The film outstripped the previous box-office hit -- a 2017 sports drama “Three seconds”.

More than 11.5 million people have watched the movie so far, said kinobusiness.com.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple