The film has an autobiographical character, because some facts are written off from the life of the star of the century – Viktor Tsoi. The film shows the youthful years of the famous Russian singer, and a lot of attention is devoted to the general rock culture of the past century. The film was first shown in 2018 in Cannes – it was filmed under the direction of Kirill Serebrennikov, the script was written by Mikhail and Lilia Idov.
The film tells how 19-year-old Viktor Tsoi meets and starts a relationship with Mike and his wife Natasha. Some details about the formation and development of the Leningrad rock club are also mentioned, and the process of recording Victor’s first musical album is described.
The plot is quite interesting – the life of each person is extremely interesting, if you go into its details. Fans of Tsoi’s work have always been interested in how their favorite singer lived, where he got inspiration from and how he got along in society. Usually it is hard for creative people to accept and accept the canons of a tough society, to find a balance between the creative impulses of their hearts and the established rules of other people. The film shows how Victor is interested to know the opinion of the already recognized and famous singer Mike Naumenko. He and his friend Leonid sing their songs and understand that Mike likes to listen to them, that someday they can become world-famous hits. Mike even comes up with a name for the group – “Garin and the Hyperboloids”.
On the same beach, an acquaintance with the same Natasha takes place. More and more often Victor comes to Mike’s house to hear his opinion about the new song or to share hits from abroad. Tsoi and Natasha understand that they are not indifferent to each other, affection and attraction arise between them. Mike understands that in some way, Victor does not just come to show him what he has written, he has certain feelings for his wife. However, in a conversation with Tsoi, Mike does not show that he is offended by his friend’s attitude towards his wife.
The following describes the process of accepting the group into a rock club in Leningrad, the first successful concert and the recording of Tsoi’s first album. In all this, Mike helped Victor and his group – he played along at the concert, asked Bob to produce the album, convinced him to accept the new group into the lava of the rock club. However, their creative tastes and understandings are completely different: it is important for Mike to surprise the guests of his concerts with an unsurpassed show with many light and sound elements, to make a real show. And Victor said that it is more important for him to look into the eyes of his listener, to feel his emotions, to understand whether this or that song is to his liking or not. After the end of the joint concert, at which this disagreement took place, Victor meets with Maryana – she leaves her phone on his hand.
After some time, the Kino group is already very popular on stage, Maryana (already Viktor’s wife) organizes concerts, Tsoi is gaining more and more popularity among other performers. At this concert, he does not begin to sing songs – it is important for him to wait until Natasha and Mike appear in the hall. Tsoi plays the song “Tree” on an acoustic guitar – because of this, Mike leaves the hall, and Natasha applauds popular performers along with other listeners.
The hidden meaning of the film is about how hard it is for a creative person to enter the world of show business. Nothing comes into your hands just like that, for this it was important not to lose a positive attitude and constantly work on yourself. It was important for Tsoi to find spiritual contact with his listeners, and not just go out, play a concert and leave. He could bring elephants to the stage, surprise the audience and end the concert there, but it was more important for Victor to feel the people, to share his energy with them. In this case, they act as opposites with Mike: Victor is more sincere and subtle by nature, Michael is practical, he wants to quickly capture the attention of the audience, not paying attention to their inner world.
The Kino group became popular due to the fact that they sang about important things, the listeners found in their songs important words for themselves. It was not a set of phrases to music – Tsoi always carried some ideas, beliefs in his poems and shared this with others. On the example of the history of the popularity of the group and Tsoi himself, we see that only the business that you treat with trepidation brings success. Having put your soul into it, sooner or later this matter will find a response in the spirit of at least some person. The more efforts, time, tears and blood spent on the development of the project, the more you are willing to give for its implementation, the more success and recognition will return later.
The finale of the film shows an applauding Natasha, who, along with everyone else, supports Tsoi’s performance. She was a muse for Victor, an inspiration and remained him even when he got married. This love line also plays a role in the film: you need to have a person nearby who can support you at the right time, say that everything is fine and just be there. Natasha loved her husband, but she was not indifferent to Tsoi’s deepest soul. He fell in love with her rather because of his talent. But they will not be able to be close – everyone has a family. It remains only to inspire.