Tycoon - A New Russian
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Opening with Platos assassination by car bomb, An investigation Judge of his life through flashbacks involving a vivid array of gangsters, mistresses, childhood friends, idealistic intellectuals, and trigger-happy veterans, offers an inside view of a country in which gangsters and greedy politicians conspire to rub out their enemies.
Building a media empire, Plato uses his genius to become a monster, unhesitatingly sacrificing his ideals and his closest friends until he topples.
Compared by critics to SCARFACE and THE GODFATHER SAGA, TYCOON is an epic tale of a visionary and scoundrel, and, in the end, a bridge between the old Russia and the new.
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Top Customer Reviews
Markovski and his loyal band of brothers run afoul of scheming Kremlin bureacrats who want their piece of the capitalist action without leaving the security of their government posts. The battle between the bureaucrats and the oligarch prefigures Vladimir Putin's real-life confrontations with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other malefactors of great wealth.
The movie is overstuffed with characters and incidents, but Director Pavel Lungin keeps it all pumping furiously forward. Tycoon is a triumph of old fashioned storytelling and, like the Godfather, is filled with small moments of warmth and humor along with operatic drama. As outrageous as the plot turns get, none of it - the hypercreative business deals, the buying of politicians, the wild west shootouts between the state and the capitalists - is stranger than what actually happened in Russia over the past 15 years.
The acting and directing are uniformly excellent. This movie, while remaining true to its gangster tale roots, manages to indict an entire society for losing its ideals and sense of human connection once it discovers the delirious delights of the dollar.
Using flashbacks, the director, Pavel Longuine, a dual citizen of France and Russia, gives us a penetrating look at how Russians thought and felt and acted as the backbone of their entire civilization, communism, disappeared, to be replaced by a capitalism whose brutality made--and makes--people like John D. Rockefeller resemble babes in the woods. In the new Russia, people openly kill each other for business. Is that true in the US? Sure. But it's true typically of criminals--i.e., those whose lives are on a specific path.
What Longuine shows us in this film is that in the new Russia, it's true of businessmen who follow a path of doing business that can just as easily include whipping out a Kalashnikov and blowing away their competition as it can sitting at a conference room table.
The flashback technique is used effectively, counting down the years--starting at 15 years prior to Makovski's untimely demise--until just before the day of his death. We meet Makovski, his business associates, his mistress(es), the judge who uncovers the truth, his rivals, his allies, his friends. As each character makes his/her presence known, more of the new Russia is revealed until we see a picture of just how cutthroat things became--and still are. To illustrate this, one of Makovski's associates tells a joke about a man who bought a tie for $3,000 and is told by his friend that he was ripped off, since he saw the same tie somewhere else for $2,500.
This is a unique film--no other cinematic work has explored this territory, certainly not as clearly and comprehensively as Longuine has here. Great job.
The artistic value of the film is high, the actors are brilliant, and it is a passionate affair with the new Russia and its talented people.
There are too many excellent cinamatographic moments to list; one of my favorites repeatedly occurs in the last quarter of the movie where a grinning picture of Boris Yeltsin (then Russia's alcoholic president) smiles down on corrupt bureaucrat-gangsters as they vivisect the State in pursuit of enormous gains. When the cat is asleep (in this case, in a drunken stupor) the mice will play dirty games indeed.
For someone learning Russian and therefore not utilizing subtitles, it will help to have a native speaker available or a really good dictionary of contemporary slang. For example, it took me a little while to discover that "laveh" (spelled love, with the stress on the last syllable) is slang for money in a way that is equivalent to the British English "dosh" or the French "butin" but which has no real equivalent in American English. It was also enlightening to discover that Russian has a specific word for "slow agonizing death," namely podihat.
Platon's progress is somewhat akin to that of the emponymous Candide in Voltaire's novel: the journey is interesting but its main artistic purpose is to shed light on the society that creates such circumstances.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not quite what I would describe as a "Russian version of the Godfather", but if you know a little basic Russian history and are aware of the story of Boris Berezovsky, then this... Read morePublished on June 25, 2012 by Graham Holdaway
A wonderful movie, very good actors, delivering an interesting picture of ex-USSR and the evolution of friendship
While western movies usualy show educated youngsters... Read more
An excellent, informative and fascinating movie. It is spellbinding and tragic. Although it gets to a slow start, it picks up speed and never stops for breath. Read morePublished on February 19, 2005 by Patrick
If you come accross this movie, go ahead and watch it. I didn't find the story fantastic at all. This is what happens in third world countries. Read morePublished on January 21, 2005 by Mariano Apuya Jr
This is Russia today.
Now I can understand the daily news happenings.
Farenheight 911 is to USA as Tycoon is to Russia. Read more
This movie was excellent, it trully captures the reality of how Russia operates. Nothing in this movie has been exaggerated at all.Published on June 26, 2004
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