Sobachye Serdtse

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  • PG
  • 1988
  • 2 hr 10 min
  • 8.6  (8,875)

Sobachye Serdtse, also known as Heart of a Dog, is a Soviet black comedy film released in 1988. It is based on a novel of the same name by Mikhail Bulgakov, a famous Russian author, and is directed by Vladimir Bortko. The story is set in the Soviet Union during the early 1920s. A stray dog wanders into the laboratory of Professor Preobrazhensky (played by Evgeniy Evstigneev), a renowned surgeon, who takes the dog in as his pet. However, the dog begins to exhibit unusual behavior after being exposed to the professor's experiments. In an attempt to improve the dog's behavior, the professor enlists the help of Dr. Bormental (played by Vladimir Tolokonnikov), a psychologist.

The experiment is a success from a scientific standpoint, as the dog's intelligence rises to almost human levels. But as the dog starts to develop more human-like characteristics, it also begins to display human vices and emotions. This creates tension in the household and in the relationship between the dog and its owners.

Meanwhile, the political situation in the Soviet Union is rapidly changing. The Bolsheviks are in power and the professor, who is a member of the upper class, is faced with the threat of losing his position and his home. The dog, who now identifies as a human, becomes a staunch supporter of the Bolsheviks and begins to see the professor as an enemy of the people.

The film explores themes of power, identity, and the struggle between class and ideology. It has a satirical tone and uses humor to critique the Soviet political system and its leaders. The performances of the three main actors, Evstigneev, Tolokonnikov, and Plotnikov, are praised for their ability to convey complex emotions and ideas through their characters.

Sobachye Serdtse received critical acclaim both domestically and internationally. It won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 1988. The film is considered a classic of Soviet cinema and is often included on lists of the best Russian films of all time.

In addition to the film adaptation, Bulgakov's novel has been adapted for the stage and screen multiple times. However, Sobachye Serdtse is widely regarded as the most successful adaptation of the story, with Bortko's direction and the performances of the actors being cited as key factors in its success.

Overall, Sobachye Serdtse is a thought-provoking and entertaining film that skillfully blends humor, satire, and social commentary. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Soviet cinema, Russian literature, or the complexities of human nature.

Sobachye Serdtse
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 10 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.6  (8,875)