The meaning of the movie Odessa 2019

Odessa. A number of associations arise before your eyes: sprawling plane trees, the Privoz market, a kind of lively dialect and the boundless Black Sea. The colorful city is a character in itself. And in the film by Valery Todorovsky, we see another facet of Odessa, so alive, so real.

What is the movie Odessa about?

In the family of Odessans Grigory Iosifovich and Raisa Irovna Davydov, there are three adult daughters. In August 1970, the eldest Laura from Leningrad and the youngest Mira from Minsk visited their parents. Husband Volodya (a drinking musician) and teenage daughter Zhenya arrive with Laura. Mira brings Aric’s rather spineless husband. The family is waiting for the arrival of their middle daughter, Muscovite Alla with her husband Borey and son Valera. On a hot summer afternoon, the Moscow-Odessa plane lands, and long-awaited guests join the Davydovs – son-in-law Boris (an international journalist) and Valerik. Alla is late on business, they are waiting for her from day to day. But suddenly quarantine is introduced in the city: an epidemic of cholera is declared. From this moment the story begins.

The city is preoccupied with the impending threat, each of the members of the Davydov family is experiencing the incident in their own way. Boris is planning a business trip to Bonn, which is impossible to miss. Together with Alla (a character that exists only on the phone), they are looking for options for them to return with Valery. Laura unsuccessfully struggles with her husband’s drunkenness, on the basis of which scandals flare up. Mira is preparing documents for leaving for permanent residence in Israel, which infuriates the father of the family.

Against the backdrop of a diverse showdown, quarrels and reconciliations, Boris falls in love with a 15-year-old neighbor, Irka. Together with her and her son, the journalist moves to the cabin of the ship for several days, after which he is going to fly to Moscow. Doubts, mental anguish – finally Boris returns home, Ira remains in Odessa. In the final shots, Davydov’s father and mother are eating fritters in the sun-drenched kitchen. In Yiddish they talk about children. Everything is old. Life goes on.

The meaning of the film Odessa

The main character of the picture is the cholera bacillus, which terrifies all residents and guests of the city. The invisible threat of death, forced confinement in the proposed circumstances reveals each character in his own way.

Fear pushes for rash acts: the sisters curse each other, simultaneously turning the “dirty linen” inside out, Grigory Iosifovich drinks sea water in order to infect, Raisa Irovna suffers from the fact that she herself drove her husband away. In fact, people are in a fever with life, the awareness of its fragility and momentaryness. Behind the constant squabbles of the sisters, grown up offended children are visible, begging for a banal understanding. The search for the homeland and the national question leads each family member out of internal emigration.

The Davydovs’ Moscow son-in-law was also affected by the metamorphosis. Intoxicating freedom, drunk at once in large cold sips, presents Boris with a new, unexplored feeling. Quite a girl, a 15-year-old teenager, drives an adult man crazy (as happens only in his youth) with just his appearance on the summer veranda. There is no need to wait for the continuation of the “Lolita” theme: Boris does not overstep the bounds of what is permitted, limiting himself to a couple of kisses. But the lack of physical intimacy is compensated by the change that has taken place: a man feels himself “alive” only with Her, a thin, laughing girl.

Summer boyish love ends in nothing: the choice is up to the family. It is not known how the fate of numerous relatives develops in the future, but the internal rebellion during the August epidemic cannot remain without a trace. And in the memory of the audience, the thought of the wise Jewish grandfather settles with a light August haze: nothing can be put off until tomorrow. Everything that you dreamed of, do today – in the name of the moment of life.

The meaning of the final

Valerik’s summer adventures are coming to an end. Emerging into reality (literally and figuratively), the boy and his father return to their usual life in Moscow. To my mother, for whom the quarantine events also became a special shake-up.

Throughout the film, the old Davydovs quarreled among themselves and with their children, defended their daughters from neighbors and from each other, threatened to take their own lives, and tenderly fed their grandchildren watermelon. But now the holiday season is over – the children have scattered to their cities. The old Odessa courtyard was empty.

The last minutes of the picture are permeated with appeasement: Grigory Iosifovich leafs through a newspaper, Raisa Irovna carefully puts pancakes to her husband. A slow, quiet conversation in Yiddish about Alla’s family. “Borya and Alla gave Valerik to German. “If you knew Yiddish, you don’t need to learn German.” The war, the change in the political system, everyday difficulties hardened these people. And although the epidemic has sharpened their love of life, but the Odessa mentality and the slowness of the south put everything in its place. Everything is fine. Everything is as it should be.

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