“The Scavenger” is a Russian-made film released in 2001. The screenwriter was the well-known Ivan Okhlobystin, however, he initially conceived the work as a story, and Yuri Korotkov helped with the adaptation of the text to the script.
The director of the film is Georgiy Shengeliy, known for his works Restless Sagittarius and Classic. But still, it is believed that the most successful work of the director was the “Scavenger”, which, perhaps, is not often remembered now, but in the year of release it did not gain wild popularity, however, all critics and viewers who paid attention to the picture note that “The Scavenger” is worthy of attention and stands out very clearly against the background of Russian paintings of both the beginning of the 2000s and the present.
What is the movie Scavenger about?
In the film, two people meet, whose fates, at first glance, are so dissimilar that it makes no sense to even think in the direction of the interaction of these characters.
In a small town, a garbage collector stumbles upon a brand new red car in the morning, in which a girl sleeps. This is a pretty and successful blonde who traveled to a provincial town with a special assignment from her employer. She needs to find one person in this town, pay him money, use all female charms and any methods of persuasion so that the object does not refuse, but completes the task, which is to remove one extra person. In the evening, not finding a worthy place to stop for the night, the girl decides to spend the night right in the car, where Scavenger Nikolai finds her in the morning. The blonde gives him such a nickname on the move.
However, a successful girl cannot but pay attention to inconsistencies in the appearance and behavior of a man. On the one hand, the occupation and simple clothes indicate that Nikolai works as a simple cleaner, but on the other hand, his manners, style of behavior, cultural conversation and treatment of a girl hint that this person is not so simple.
Fate pushes the heroes together again after a while, this time Nikolai is dressed in a completely different way, he is wearing an expensive suit. This makes the girl convinced of the correctness of her doubts about the origin and profession of Nikolai, then she decides on a dangerous game, as a result of which she hopes to find out who is in front of her.
Meaning of the movie Scavenger
In fact, the meeting of Nikolai and the young metropolitan “thing” is not as random as it seems at the beginning. The person for whom the girl came to the provincial town is Nikolai. Seeing her target first, she simply does not believe that she or her boss, who gave the tip, did not make a mistake. But everything matches, so she has to look for any ways to get close to a mysterious stranger. But in addition to fulfilling her task, on which the girl’s future depends, she decides to deal with the riddle that confronted her: to understand who Nikolai is and why he leads such a lifestyle.
The second meeting is initiated by the blonde herself: she invites Nikolai to spend the evening with her in order to raise her self-esteem, and at the same time complete the task. This is where the mysterious Scavenger appears in a new image. An expensive suit and perfume, refined manners, subtle humor – all this accurately defines a man in the wrong category of people under which he disguises himself. Almost from the threshold, Nikolai puts the girl in her place, making her feel uncomfortable, and not put the man in such a position, as she originally intended.
It is this scene in the hotel that completely changes the course of the film. Now we see that the game is not played by a young and ambitious girl, but by someone who is hiding under the guise of a simple janitor. Later it becomes clear that both the mayor of the city and many other wealthy people know Nikolai. Finally, the girl is convinced that there is no mistake, and in front of her, indeed, is the very killer she was looking for.
Nikolai achieved a lot by doing really dirty work, he sinned for a past life, but now he retired, specially left for a small town, changed into a work uniform and tripled at the local housing office. It is not by chance that the girl gives the nickname to Nikolai – the Scavenger. This word expresses an additional meaning that reveals the essence of the character. Previously, he cleansed the land of people, killed those who are on the other side of the law, but in the end he himself turned out to be equal to them. Now he seems to be trying to cleanse karma, become better and removes the impurities of people in the truest sense of the word. He himself deliberately lowers himself from the pedestal and occupies a modest place in life.
The meaning of the film’s ending
As a result of interaction with Nikolai, the girl decides to take the money and leave with the man somewhere far away to a new life. Apparently, the philosophy of the Scavenger had some influence on this little thing in the capital. But she does not get a new life and does not find happiness with Nikolai. With the money, she leaves alone to live on the island in a luxurious villa, where she is soon found dead. The scavenger continues to live a measured life in his town, once reading in the newspaper the news of the death of a blonde.
To get a new chance for a better life, you need to find the strength in yourself to repent, you need to be ready to start over, which is what a man does, but just running away from problems, as a girl does, is not enough. That’s the point of the movie’s ending.