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About the beginning

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About the beginning

Olga Nemchikova and priest Andrei Mizyuk argue about what motives are hidden in the new film about Gogol.

Olga: As you know, in the beginning was the Word. And then everything else. I did exactly the same: long before the start of filming, they gave me to read the script of the first part, after which I fell in love with the formal postmodern idea itself.

O.A .: Incidentally, this thought did not even visit me, so this was initially perceived by me, to put it mildly, with hostility. I did not read the scenarios, but already saw the advertisement, and Petrov, after Vitsin and Trofimov, who had once tried on the image of a classic in much more serious productions and screen versions, caused only a mockery. Well, plus, this one here is the whole Burton atmosphere with bare mermaids and so on. In general, I decided – that this is vulgarity and blasphemy, and we must write about it. Posted I can not say that I was pleased with what I wrote, because it was all still on the emotions. I didn’t want to look any further at all, because “Viy” was already further, but “Viy” was already quite a classic “Viy”.

Olga: And already after my visual ego, too, was amused in full: Menshikov is always beautiful and all over, delightful Petrov, as always very typical Stychkin, and so on, and so on. Alexander Petrov turned out to be the most important visual joy: it turned out that I saw this artist for the first time in this project, but now I fell in love unconditionally and forever.

OA: I saw Petrov in the role of some crazy Gopnik in some kind of science fiction from Bondarchuk. After that, Gogol did not see me at all in him, however, the impression did change. And Menshikov, in my opinion, in vain, here he pulled out of the "Pokrovsky Gates" his immortal phrase, said to Velor. Although it looked funny. And again, it must be understood that I watched a movie with the mood of "cutting without waiting for peritonitis."

Olga: Personally, the last time I met such heat of passions, such inner work and living, such an ability to play anything – in Yankovsky, I guess. And now Oleg Ivanovich turned out to be pressed in my heart (like Oleg Evgenievich, by the way. But he, I believe, is not offended).

As for the beginning as “The Beginning” (yes, this is the original name of the first part of the trilogy), then personally, I was a little surprised, of course, by the amount of naturalism, immediately accepted this film in a completely female way, that is very difficult, but completely logical ( as a woman, we remember) the range of feelings: yes, banter. Yes, postmodernism. Yes, the game with the facts of biography that is enchantingly pleasing to the heart of any Gogolefil, is skillfully intertwined in the plot this way and that (I suspect that I am a connoisseur and amateur, but most of the hints and references are probably overlooked: here you are and “Ganz Kuchelgarten" – and the promise never to burn their works again, three ha-ha. And the snails, to which Nikolai Vasilyevich experienced the real disgust all his life. And the burial alive – in this case for the time being in visions. And the service itself in the third department, which generally few people usually remember). Yes, scene 16+ in all its glory. Yes, the dances of witches and other evil spirits. And above all – some kind of supermundane (nonworldly?) Beauty of the soul of the protagonist.

OA: I believe that the authors of the film did it quite biologically, if, of course, you do not take into account all the same postmodernism. But over who and what was the banter, I began to understand later. And if then it seemed to me that the harsh roller of consumer pop music went through the sacred name of a classic, but now my opinion, after the third part of the film, has changed in the opposite direction. Quite the opposite: the personality that was twisted into dashing plots is not that of a detective or a horror film (again, do not forget about postmodernism) Gogol is fascinating and lively. High school grades 8-9: the atmosphere is much more dubious and sad for a genius writer, and it is there that they talk about him and tell him how they can, often following Soviet training manuals, and it turns out that he is very dusty and dead in these routine days. I don’t even know from what perception Nikolai Vasilyevich should have turned over in his grave. And this is very serious. I recognized the very different, mysterious, suffering, believing and seeking Gogol himself on the college bench, preparing materials for my thesis work.

Olga: The beauty of the soul of the hero, even without any conclusions and global statements, is simply obvious and sincere. Bribing so much that this blue look is impossible to forget just like that. And generally forget. Moreover, the plot is also masterfully twisted, so waiting for the rest of the pieces is quite a full-fledged part of this quest called “Gogol”.

OA: Perhaps, after all, a quest. I agree with Olga. And then a lot of things fall into place. We are not in the audience and not in class. And by the way, why not become a real, once existed person part of someone else's intention. It is not uncommon at all when quite real people themselves became heroes of books.

Olga: The beginning is the beginning, and then the third part happens. And so she turns everything upside down, from simply postmodernist mockery becoming finally a serious conversation. The third part is very uncomfortable with this for those who have seen an exceptionally entertaining and fascinating story in the trilogy – and this is also good if the viewer is used to thinking and reflexing. And to take cinema, if not as seriously as the very first spectators of the “Arrival of a train” by the Lumiere brothers, then at least as a reason to think. About what? About the victim, about forgiveness, about the choice. About Russian literature, after all!

OA: And here I agree. The third part disappointed lovers of erotica and ghouls. It is not about that. Because the topic of choice, a difficult, terrible, sacrificial, unexpected choice, came forward. “Live, dark” – this is not about Gogol, who accidentally survived in infancy, and this is not a terrible rogue. These are the words of life itself about each of us. With our sins and offenses, anger and lies, cunning and other dark side sets. No, really? You’ll think so sometimes, how much life has been done with, how to fix it all, but the light comes into the soul and life seems to go on, because the choice is made … and quite often in favor of the light.

About the victim.

Olga: There are a lot of victims in the film, just about every first one of them was brought for Gogol. And if the sacrifice of his father for the very birth of a son is understandable, understandable and logical (and this is the only moment that confuses me in the film! ”He will burn for it in hell while you live,” they say to Gogol in a vision, and this moment remains suspended, Nikolai Vasilyevich is no longer in words, deeds, or thoughts to the grave fate of the father returns, then the rest is much more diverse.

Oksana is a local woman who drowned thirty years ago because of the wiles of her stepmother, and since then she has lived in the vicinity of Dykanka. Is only those whom she wants – for example, Gogol. Gogol, she wants in every sense of the word: the very scene 16+ will take place with the participation of Oksana. However, the further, the more it becomes clear that the matter is not limited to simple lust: the girl really loves the visiting clerk. He loves so much that, being in a crowd of witches who want to snatch Gogol and Homu Brut from the circle and break, he constantly shouts to his beloved, so that in no case will he look into the eyes of Viy. And it is difficult for a living person to go against the crowd of “his own people” – let alone talk about the hierarchy and style of the world. In the end, Oksana completely unnaturally go straight to hell, and voluntarily: she herself will make this choice, for the sake of all the same love.

The main villain of the film as a result brings no less sacrifice: she fell in love with Gogol in the same way with all her heart and even with all her soul, which in her case is still almost a destruction of the curse (by the way, the already mentioned scene 16+ has not done without this lady – screwed up in this film and really very much). It is surprising how its gradual refusal from murder is developing incrementally – even if it is forced but deliberately committed by it. At first, having fallen in love with Nikolai Vasilyevich, she refuses to kill him, although this death was necessary for her to prolong her own life (Oksana will die as a result, but these are already brilliant plot intricacies). Then she, who had quietly killed right and left for several centuries up to that minute, refuses to kill herself: during the final battle, she only removes disturbing opponents from her path, but no longer kills them. And finally, she promises Gogol that she will no longer kill in principle, even when the time of forced killings comes again — firmly realizing that it will cost her life.

But the biggest sacrifice, oddly enough, was brought to Gogol by a little girl, the daughter of the blacksmith Vakula Vasilina. In this Dikanka, you know, every second is a witch. Well, every third. And Vakula, a single father, an icon painter and an active fighter with all evil spirits, can’t come to terms with the idea that his own daughter can be "out of these." It explodes on any mention of such opportunities, even when the reality is quite obvious: Vasilina causes rain to put out the fire, in which Gogol would otherwise have been burned. Vakula falls into a very real rage, and Vasilina is faced with a choice: to continue her childhood games with rain and other weather events, or accept the will of her father. She makes a completely childishly logical decision: she runs off into the forest, where she stands in a whirlwind and tornado, worrying that her dad doesn't love her anymore. And when a worried father finally finds her there, then there is complete reconciliation and Acceptance: Vakula says that he loves her as she is – and she calms down and again accepts that incomprehensible in its nature, which dictates some actions to her, which she herself does not fully understand. But then the final decision takes place: Vasilina finally became akin to her nature and went to save Gogol from mortal danger. I went alone because it was already her fight, her initiation and her growing up. What will happen next specifically with Vasilina is an open question, it can be viewed from a variety of different aspects, ranging from the household and ending with the eschatological.

And since we agreed that I say “as a woman,” I cannot fail to mention the most honest and honest man of the whole trilogy, whose whole life was one continuous victim in the name of justice and law, and death, as it should be in this film – for the sake of Gogol. Yes, we are talking about the local police master, Alexander Khristoforovich Binh. The hero, who contributes the most simple and human things to this evil whirlwind: until recently he does not believe in any kind of exorcism, tries to look at things “rationally like the Germans” and, between loss of honor and loss of life, he chooses death in no uncertain terms. Alexander Khristoforovich is being given a smart offer that is very difficult to refuse: from the Dikan wilderness, in which he is obviously very sick, he was asked to become the police chief of St. Petersburg. And you need to do just a little for this: just do not write a report about what happened here in Dykanka for the last few weeks. Cover thus the criminal, simply giving it into the hands of another department. Alexander Khristoforovich responds with a decisive refusal, stands a moral clash with a human representative of the kind of scoundrels and perishes by the order of evil forces, defending Gogol. He performed his duty until the very end, sacrificing his own life to honor and justice. But I wanted, probably, to return to the capital, and even in such a rank. And re-enter society. And not to communicate with the villagers, but with people of equal status. But honor and loyalty are more important. And suddenly it becomes clear that death is yes, the death of Binh — the heroic one that causes tears — was a victim in the name of justice. But life – in this smoked Dikanka with dark men and superstitious women, but crowds of witches – but life is not. It was not a sacrifice, it was a simple service to the Law and the Empire, which illuminates and sanctifies everything. And death too.

O.A .: Since everything was not filmed at all in those warm places, as if in a dream from childhood, the spaces that seemed to me in Gogol’s books, the whole area constantly reminded to death the intimidated village somewhere at the foot of the possessions of the Walachian king Tepes. This is from impressions. Immediately struck the image of the priest. Oh, this infinite our "symphony" and talk about it. Recalling Gogol's thoughts, letters, his pure and reverent attitude to faith, how could he not swear at all this sham and farce. And by the end of the trilogy it seemed that we were about to find out in a nasty rider … well, who? Someone who was spinning around Gogol all the time, of course. So, it became clear to this finale that the present and the main evil was hidden not at all in the representatives of the otherworldly force, although it wasn’t enough without them either. But in the quiet, almost perfect fandorinsko-enkavedeshnom appearance of the brilliant Petersburg syskari (character Menshikova) somehow looked through something inanimate and very dangerous. And no, he did not change his appearance, did not change in the light of the moon, did not grow hair, but revealed exactly that nasty and terrible human thing about which the heart of the writer Gogol ached and lamented in many works. Here it is – the gallery "Dead Souls", which are still dead and Wii, when, please, human life in the service of lies and meanness. Not for the sake of truth, but in favor of the human princes. That is why it perishes, though not perfect, but still honest and remarkable in its fidelity to its duty Binh. Non-tenants are such people in the world of resourcefulness and lies, in the world of profit and manpower.

About forgiveness.

Olga: Even if we consider the film exclusively from a detective-adventure point of view, it is impossible to argue with the fact that it raises themes of forgiveness, sacrifice, love, death and memory.

Forgiveness is such a thing – in most cases it is inseparable from other topics, there is no pure “forgiveness in a vacuum”, it is almost always mixed with something else. Vakula forgives Vasilina for being a witch – well, that sounds funny, will you agree? Although factually it is. But he forgives her not abstractedly, but because he loves who she is. Boomgart does not forgive himself for every physician's mistake (albeit lethal), so he doesn’t allow himself to continue to engage in the work of his whole life, and can only drink bitter – and only Gogol helps the doctor to control himself. Vasily Afanasyevich Gogol asks his son for forgiveness for life itself, which he bestowed on him, because he understands how much hell is now mixed up in the fate of Nikolai. Maria does not forgive her sister and waits for the execution of her revenge for almost two long centuries – and this story is the most terrible among all possible. Not only because it is she who puts the final point, ruining the other heroes. Not only because of the close blood ties of its participants. But precisely because of this wait-and-see attitude, clearly following the precepts, “revenge is a dish that must be served cold.” Because of the cold calculation that replaces all possible explanations with simple and inexplicable cynicism. And that is why there is no precisely this forgiveness story

The main pardon, the forgiveness of God, is not mentioned separately here. However, this is not entirely true. Gogol, speaking with Liza of her curse, does not preach anything directly, but by his own example shows that the apparent predestination of human destiny by dark forces can be, if not completely defeated, then greatly weakened by the choice that a person makes. And in this case, God's help — and God's forgiveness — will already be there.

OA: Yes, exactly what I saw. The devil is an ancient liar and murderer; he will lie and will not wince. And the most important thing for him is not a lie, but a half-truth. Not a rogue without a nose, a freak and generally non-human, gives life, not at all. But in the plan of the evil one, to deceive and present for a person everything so that it is he who has the cherished pill of happiness from everything. And if everything was so, then would a man be alive, sinful, very different in his manifestations, would he have the freedom of choice. And so much in the final just this very choice about everyone and showed …

About the choice.

Olga: A lot has been said about the selection. And about Bing and Vasilin, and about Gogol himself. And about all the others. But it seems you can say more and more about it.

Everyone has a choice here: between honor and a lucrative offer to move to the capital from Dikanskoy wilderness. Between death and life. Between love and murder. Between – and between everything: in Dikanka, anything can turn out to be a subject with a double bottom and a forced choice.

It has already been said about Gogol's conversation with Liza, that they are not “on the same side”, because Gogol cannot accept the endless murder that his beloved had to do for almost two long centuries. Он жалеет её, сопереживает, сочувствует – но не может этого понять: до того момента, пока Лиза не встретила Гоголя и не решила бросить ради его любви всё, включая земное бессмертие, она даже не пробовала как-то противостоять своему проклятию. Да, она часто ходит в храм и ставит свечки – замаливает большие грехи, как говорит местное население. Но при этом Бог в ее мире будто бы вынесен за скобки: даже посмертной участи Лиза, кажется, страшится куда как меньше, чем просто смерти в случае неисполнения условий существования под проклятием.

Лишен проблемы выбора в этом фильме, кажется, разве что блистательный столичный сыщик Яков Петрович Гуро, ворвавшийся в жизнь Гоголя подобной яркой комете, очаровавший молодого писателя – и оказавшийся последним мерзавцем. У этого героя всё «ясно и определено»: он четко знает, чего хочет, и все желания эти вертятся вокруг личности себя, любимого. Вкусно поесть, мягко поспать, красиво одеться, блеснуть в обществе – а в конце концов еще желательно обрести бессмертие. Да, как положено не просто следователю, а следователю блистательному, он регулярно подвергается опасности и терпит невыносимые лишения (например, почти сутки проводит без маковой росинки во рту), но даже тут старается себя по возможности не особенно напрягать. Яков Петрович уезжает из Диканьки формальным победителем, однако он выиграл битву, но не войну: и выбор, который снова и снова делает Гоголь, прямо указывает на то, что основное сражение еще впереди. Они еще встретятся, и Гоголь выступит как тот самый Ангел Лаодикийской Церкви: в его мире теплохладность (по сути – отсутствие необходимости нравственного выбора) недопустима.

О.А.: Как я уже и сказал выше, в фильме победила прекрасная жизненная истина: на кладбище лучше бояться живых, а не мертвых. И вот вся эта чехарда первых двух частей, да, даже бурсака с его двоечной латынью, по которой можно только дьявола и вызвать, стоит того, что жизнь  на самом деле намного реальнее и порой страшнее всех наших ужасов книжных. Потому что, главное оружие злобного и бесплотного духа, как ни странно, человеческие умы и руки. А когда они становятся ему не нужны, то в заместо души остаются Маниловы, Собакевичи и Ноздревы – то есть мертвые души… Способны ли они ожить? Вопрос сложный и решать его, наверное, все-таки им самим. Яков Гуро действительно тот самый человек века сего, винтик огромной и страшной машины, важный и хищный винтик, из плоти и крови, но с совершенно подчиненной волей и душой. И когда рассеиваются призраки и страхи – эти винтики никуда не деваются, они продолжают быть здесь, подчиняя себе жизнь и тех, кто слабее их самих. Но не Гоголя.

И о русской литературе!

Ольга: ​Самого Гоголя – настоящего, классика русской литературы, бесподобного певца украинской ночи и петербургского ветра – в этом фильме много. Его творческое наследие разлито везде, то тут, то там скользнёт в речи персонажа одна цитата, а другая визуализируется. Играть в увлекательную игру «Угадай Гоголя» по этому фильму можно бесконечно долго – однако, кроме Николая Васильевича в трилогии есть и другие классики. И главный из них, конечно, Пушкин, который наше всё. У этих персонажей своя долгая история отношений, приводящая к самому неожиданному финалу, в котором жуир и бонвиван Пушкин, любимец дам и света, приглашает Гоголя – спокойного, мудрого и рассудительного, внешне будто лишенного всех страстей – быть теперь уже с ним на одной стороне. И это предложение Гоголь принимает. За русскую литературу – особенно учитывая, что в оруженосцах у господина Пушкина ходит молодой поэт Лермонтов – можно быть спокойным. Эти господа защитят ее от любой теплохладности и равнодушия!

О.А.: И наконец, последняя фантастическая, но совершенно прекрасная сцена фильма. В ней «наше все» — Александр Сергеевич Пушкин с совсем еще юным Михаилом Юрьевичем Лермонтовым предстают в виде бравых «ванхельсингов», борцами с инфернальным злом, которые пристукивают таки какую-то злобную тварь, что под видом поклонницы едва не накидывается на Гоголя. И это символично: настоящее искусство, талант данный человеку свыше, каким бы он ни был, не только просияет, но и сквозь время вытащит человека из затхлого мира грязи и пошлости, и кажется, что во все времена, что бы ни произошло, но человек, открывающий книгу, человек читающий, мыслящий, ищущий обязательно обретет настоящее и неподдельное, а через это откроет для себя и правду, расстаться с которой уже не сможет.

А наши прекрасные классики много для этого сделали. Впрочем, это уже другая история.

Нет, не скажу, что просмотр трилогии подготовит человека к уроку или экзамену. Было бы смешно. На то она и фантастика. Но после всего увиденного появилось все-таки желание освежить в памяти замечательные и прекрасные строки, которые некогда при свете свечи и посредством чернил обрели свое бессмертие.

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