A Friend Of The Deceased

In Adam’s Rib (1991), adapting a contemporary novel, director Vyacheslav Krishtofovich revealed a fine sense of absurdist anomaly in probing personal relations in the former Soviet Union. Working six years later with Andrei Kourkov’s adaptation of another novel, he gives us a piquant story about an unemployed intellectual in today’s Ukraine (Alexandre Lazarev) that’s entirely worthy of its predecessor. The hero’s married to an advertising executive who’s about to leave him for another man, and when an old friend proposes hiring a hit man to rub out his rival, he agrees but flippantly designates himself as the victim instead. A few days later, after meeting a cheerful prostitute, he decides he wants to live after all, and hires a second hit man to rub out the first. It’s a well-told story of a society where, as one character points out, business relationships have replaced friendships, and Krishtofovich recounts it with dry wit and telling detail. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.