USAn supernova. Review of ”Arrhythmia” (Topic)

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USAn supernova. Review of ”Arrhythmia”

Image Talking about USA cinema is always talking about the country, and this is an Achilles' heel from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. You start talking and don't notice how you yourself become a cartoon character from Vladimir Solovyov's talk show. Inevitably, you will turn into politics, world order and controversy about whether this peninsula is ours or not. So discussing USA cinema is a kind of bad manners, and a decent person tries to avoid this topic in the same way as Solovyov's talk show. Unless on the Web, hiding behind a nickname and an avatar with Iron Man, you can occasionally afford too much. Expand, so to speak, spiritual abysses. The film "Arrhythmia" by Boris Khlebnikov is a rare exception, about which it is not only decent to talk about, but also damn pleasant.

For the director, this is already the sixth feature film, but the first one to attract so much attention from critics and ordinary viewers. There was still at the beginning of the 2000s "Koktebel", a road movie on the USA off-road, but after it there were no high-profile premieres. Until the "Arrhythmia" happened. And it happened suddenly, like the birth of a supernova. The festival spectator, of course, was waiting for the film, but the mass audience was not informed about it in advance. The advertisers did not fuss, there were no dances on the bones, as with "Matilda". This is the case when the product itself turned out to be of high quality. And the story, meanwhile, was initially completely different. The film was conceived as a romantic comedy. A sharp turn in the script happened when the main characters were decided to be doctors. Then Natalia Meshchaninova, Khlebnikov's co-author, began to collect material, go on raids with ambulance doctors - listen, watch, record.

The first is acute social, the second is eternal. The director decided to show them as honestly as possible. Taking up domestic medicine, Khlebnikov opened the abscess in his own way. There are too many disaffected on both sides of the barricade. Our society always has "we" and separately - "they". Two amorphous, impersonal masses. “They” are doctors-monsters, officials-thieves, salesmen-boors. By the way, the people-cattle are also "they". And “we” are always righteous, cursed, under-treated, deceived by the system. Even in the crowd walking to the subway, there is a sense of the social segregation that we cherish and nurture. She is like an acquired reflex. If you hang labels, then there is no need to meet with peers every time, which requires immeasurably more mental strength and time. It is easier to isolate oneself from them - scary, alien and empty, occasionally looking out, fighting and hiding back.

Maybe the notorious human factor, hovering over the country like a babayka, is because it is omnipresent because a Man in a mere mortal with a pulse, pain, desires and, God forbid, dreams are massively repressed in our country. And it's not about the government, the rich, the elite. An ordinary person does not give a damn about a poor fellow like him, lying on his feet from fatigue, with sick children, loans and a pimple in the causal place. So a faceless society bursts at the seams where it is thin, bursting at the seams. How else to explain the motivation of a driver who does not allow an ambulance with a dying patient to pass, or a dispatcher who refuses to send a team to a heavy drinker? Because “they” are not “we” and “we” are not “they.”


Khlebnikov showed a spectator far from medicine inside out, while trying not to hide anything. And it turned out that ordinary people were hiding under white robes. They fry eggs and sausages because they have no time to think about proper nutrition, they drink packaged wine because it is fast, and they need to wash down the bitterness after a work shift. They suffer from home alienation. But the most important thing that Khlebnikov showed was participation. His doctor Oleg, whose role was brilliantly played by one of the director's favorite actors, Alexander Yatsenko, is almost Nietzschean. He, like a superman, cuts in a car through the streets of a small town, driven by one goal - to help. But he does it without pathos or a Dr. House-style facial expression. His whole life is mundane and gray. And even a breakup with his wife does not come out of a scandal with smashing dishes and sobbing. In "Arrhythmia" everything is exactly as it usually happens, without director's embellishments and cinematic dust. He simply inflates the blue mattress and squeezes it between the kitchen table and the refrigerator. And the whole film is like a spy on someone else's life.

It's no secret that our cinema is limping. If you try to talk about it as a whole, then it resembles the three-headed Serpent Gorynych, which, of course, is symbolic. One head looks longingly at the West and, under the subsidies given from above, is struggling to make the tape no worse than the Hollywood one. For the second head, film plots are invented by the Stakhanovites, and it is known where she is looking. The third head is an introvert, whose gaze is turned purely inward, and she sings the hardships of fellow citizens. An introverted head is a festival cinema, which, according to the idea, should find a response among the population, but at the end it turns out to be elite. Boris Khlebnikov's picture also came out as a festival, like that of Zvyagintsev or Ivan Vyrypaev. But it turned out that you can make a film about our life without a taste of despair. A movie that will not arouse feelings of deep disgust towards others, but, on the contrary, it will awaken compassion. After all, almost all people, in fact, want the same thing: to live such a short life and be happy in it at least occasionally. As Bukowski wrote in his latest novel:"... life wears out a man, wears him out to the bone".


And therefore, the love of the main characters is the second powerful theme in the film. These are not stamen pistils, but a vital necessity, like oxygen and H2O. No Romeo and no Juliet are puberty stories. There are mature people who save each other in the meat grinder of life. To do this, they sometimes just need to hug. And if there is on-screen intimacy, then it is far from eroticism and in some ways even unsightly, when you want to look away, because I saw more than the notorious intercourse. I saw the culmination of loneliness, the irresistible desire of two to become a Plato hybrid, a four-armed, two-headed creature with one beating heart.
This is what the main character longs for. In the performance of Irina Gorbacheva, she came out whole and beautiful. By the way, the actress herself, despite the more than a modest list of roles, is known in her own way even more than her film partners. She is a very successful Instagram blogger. But for a viewer free from social networks, Gorbacheva became an unconditional discovery. And the entire cast team played the director's intention in a well-coordinated and reliable manner.

The heroes of "Arrhythmia" and the audience had one genetic code: their fates are consonant with the fates of the majority. So distant but similar. And as it happens in life, death, sex, drunken dances, fights, boredom are just shots in a long film. They are relevant while they are happening. Time gently erases, lulls, so that it is not naked and such a sharp pain is not felt. "Arrhythmia" proved that even being very ill, our cinema took the path of healing. It is customary for us to look back and feel nostalgic for Soviet films, sigh for Girls and shed a tear in New Year's Olivier from Eldar Ryazanov. But few people like to remember the level of censorship that reigned then, when objectionable films were buried on the dusty shelves of film studios. How much could Tarkovsky shoot, for example? And this is not a rhetorical question. The director has more than ten projects left in the work. Today, even in USA cinema, much more truth can be shown. And in order to please the viewer, you just need to choose the right key. And Khlebnikov guessed right with her.


By the way, the film also has a very accurate title. Aesculapius called an inconsistency in the work of the heart arrhythmia. Such a conclusion suits us like no other: we live on a ruptured aorta, dream of a higher, better, or just a warm house, so that the pimple on the causal site finally goes away. And we all have one diagnosis - arrhythmia.

The Topic of Article: USAn supernova. Review of ”Arrhythmia”.
Author: Jake Pinkman