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Home (cover) > Reel Life (movie section) > Film Reviews > 2015

A Reel Life film section

Issue: Spring 2015

Once Upon a Time (2015) movie review

2015 Russian Resurrection Film Festival

Once Upon a Time is an unashamedly 'coming of age' cinematic projects. It is a movie dripping with nostalgia for the first romances, turbulent youthful allegiances and passionate aspirations of the pre-Internet age of the 1970s. Set in a small village in the Soviet Union, the movie focuses on the lives, loves and general 'growing up' exploits of three 15 year-old boys.

Once Upon a Time follows this trio and the events surrounding their village's preparations for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Bolshevik Revolution. To this end, the movie makes some effort to analyse the USSR's abrupt transition from its socialist era, drawing a parallel between the often harsh discoveries of post pubescence with those of soviet society as socialist ideals and structures collapsed in the late 20th century.

movie still, Once Upon a Time; 425x284

Movie still, Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time struggles to maintain focus on this important theme, as it gets caught up in its own nostalgia and cheesy romantic subthemes. There are just too many shots of young teenagers running through fields of tall reeds, and slow-motion shots of the heroine in a light cotton summer frock.

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by Alan Alderson
Australian release October 2015

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Just the facts:

Title: Once Upon a Time (2015)
Written by: Yuri Korotkov
Directed by: Renat Davletyarov
Running time: 97 mins

The Players: Yuri Deinekin, Daria Meinikova, Nikita Kalinan, Alexander Meinikov, Artur Mukhamadiarov, Sergei Garmash, Renat Davletyarov

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