On Thursday, April 20, the 45th Moscow International Film Festival opened with a free interpretation of Georgy Vladimov's novel "Three Minutes of Silence" - Boris Khlebnikov's film "Bullfinch". The roles in the film were performed by Alexander Robak, Timofey Tribuntsev, Anatoly Popov, Makar Khlebnikov, Mikhail Kremer, Vasily Shchipitsyn, Evgeny Syty, Vladimir Lukyanchikov, Oleg Savostyuk, Sergey Nasedkin, Oleg Kamenshchikov, Konstantin Gaekho and others.

The action takes place in the present day, and this is not the only thing that distinguishes it from the literary source. The plot has also undergone major changes, and some book heroes have not found a place in the cinematic world at all.

In the center of the plot is a group of workers of the fishing trawler "Bullfinch". The team, which has survived more than one sea storm, includes Max and Nikita, who have barely reached adulthood. One of them decided to connect his life with the sea, and for the second, a trip to the water is just an adventure and a way to earn a little.

It is important for Max to do everything right, so he takes his mistakes hard. Nevertheless, the hero joins the team, following the advice of his elders, which cannot be said about Nikita. His attitude to the case is immediately clear: he does not know how to do much and did not take care in advance to take with him the equipment necessary for work on the ship. Sailors have no time to babysit a white hand - everyone lets go of all sorts of caustic phrases addressed to him. Instead of a name, he is addressed by a new nickname - Fainting. Only one person, the sailor Gennady (Robak), remains kind to Nikita. When a young man loses his patronage because of his true motives for being on the ship, the persecution becomes more and more sophisticated.

The heroes are somewhat reminiscent of the military working in hot spots. Although their lives are threatened by a completely different kind of danger, they are also unable to lead a calm, measured existence.

Along with weather disasters, the central characters are preoccupied with personal problems, which makes them more intimate and recognizable. In one scene, the hero of Alexander Roebuck, for example, asks Nikita why young people are always dissatisfied and they don't need anything. Although he talks about his daughters, it seems that he is talking about himself. At the same time, it becomes obvious that there is no emotional connection between him and his children.

  • © Shot from the film "Bullfinch" / kinopoisk.ru

The life of Gena, like the entire permanent group, revolves only around having a good catch - and making money. For this, they can violate existing rules and even state borders. The only joy in life to catch a good catch is alcohol and making fun of others.

Khlebnikov placed completely different men - from young to old - in a mini-model of the male world: harsh, merciless, completely incompatible with comfort, the world of hard workers, painfully familiar only to the same as them. This world often eludes the man in the street, who, eating a trout steak or other fish delicacy in a restaurant, does not think about how it got on his plate. At the same time, the heroes in this closed world are a kind of anti-apostles, personifying a variety of archetypes. Among them there is a sage, a jester, and a ruler (captain).

Adult characters evoke mixed emotions. At some point, hatred is replaced by sympathy: they consider themselves kind and caring, even behave accordingly when the situation requires it, but the viewer should be on the alert. It is easy to fall into the trap skillfully set by the authors: partly behind the actions of the fishermen lies hypocrisy. They instruct the young, having nothing but this vessel and the desire to earn. At the same time, appearing to be quite positive characters, men do not forgive one of the young men for his audacity and intransigence, emphasizing the worthlessness of their lives.

The most difficult thing for them is not the struggle with the elements, but the test of conscience and the difficulties of human relations. Ultimately, the older heroes, including those who promise redemption, have one thing in common: indifference.

At the end of the film, Khlebnikov tears down the curtain, masterfully exposing the vices inherent in the heroes and urging them to draw the right conclusion. In the picture, the idea sounds that one bad deed can cross out a hundred good ones, but ten good deeds will not atone for one fatal mistake.

The painting "Bullfinch" is interesting not only for the plot component, but also for its visual design. Shots of the storm look very impressive, despite the fact that the tape was completely shot in the pavilion. There is no doubt about the truth of what is happening, despite the fact that the raging elements on the screen are the result of not only the skill of the tape operator Alisher Khamidkhodzhaev, but also competent computer graphics.

At the same time, truthfulness is also achieved by the excellent play of the entire acting ensemble. Each of them performed their role superbly, but it is especially worth noting the works of Alexander Robak, Makar Khlebnikov and Timofey Tribuntsev, whose game keeps in suspense until the very end. The end of the film seems quite logical, but the hope that the heroes will make the right decision disappears at the sight of Gena's glassy gaze.

Summing up, it is worth noting that "Bullfinch" is not only a film about fishermen, but also about society as a whole: about the attitude of the elders to the younger, about the choice of life path, about the meaning (or lack thereof) that everyone gives to their lives. It's definitely not a movie you can watch while eating popcorn. However, it is worth seeing, if only for the sake of discovering the unknown world of sailors of a fishing vessel and, using the example of a small group of heroes, to speculate about global problems.