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How Zelenskyy conquered Moscow (as Napoleon), solely to fall for a Russian common’s crafty plan

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It’s onerous to imagine that solely a decade in the past Zelenskyy was a comic book movie star in Russia whereas Putin was Russia’s president. Zelenskyy was then head of Studio-Kvartal 95, the leisure firm he based. His firm co-produced the movie together with two Russian studios. It was shot in Ukraine, and supposed as a sequel to director Maryus Vaysberg’s 2008 comedy Hitler Goes Kaput!

Right here’s the trailer for the movie:

So it’s 1812, Napoleon is on the top of his energy after conquering most of Europe. Now he units his sights on invading Russia. On the border, he encounters an issue we’ve heard quite a bit about as we speak—mud. His horse sinks into the mud, however happily Russia hasn’t actually mobilized and its border is calmly defended.

The Russian military is weak and unprepared, and Napoleon’s military cuts by way of the defenses and captures Moscow. Now he’s planning to assault the Russian capital, St. Petersburg, and end his conquest.

However within the movie, and in actual life, the Russians truly had a reliable commander-in-chief: Area Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov. The actual Kutuzov had studied George Washington’s technique within the American Revolution and realized that you just didn’t must win battles to finally win the conflict. So Kutuzov waged a conflict of attrition, weakening Napoleon’s forces and disrupting their provide strains.

Within the film, Kutuzov comes up with a crafty plan to distract Napoleon and get him to linger in Moscow so he has time to construct his forces and practice the brand new recruits. Sure, even in a comedic farce the screenwriters knew sufficient that you just couldn’t throw mobiks into battle with out enough coaching.

Kutuzov realizes that Napoleon’s largest weak point is that he’s an insatiable girls’ man. He is aware of that no Russian girl is able to resisting Napoleon’s charms, and solely one of the best tempter within the Russian military might perform the particular army operation to distract Napoleon.

And that’s Poruchik (Lieutenant) Rzhevsky (performed by Pavel Derevyanko). Poruchik Rzhevsky is a folkloric charactera dashing Napoleonic-era hussar and girls’ man who’s a preferred topic of Russian jokes.

There’s just one drawback. Rzhevsky is serving a life sentence in jail for selling the sexual revolution. So the Russian generals supply Rzhevsky a pardon if he’ll undertake the mission to decorate as a girl and tempt Napoleon. Does that sound acquainted?

In a weird scene, Rzhevsky is fired in a large cannonball to the outskirts of Moscow, the place he meets up with Depend Leo Tolstoy who assists in his mission. (By no means thoughts that the Russian novelist wasn’t born till 1828.)

Tolstoy takes the lieutenant to a Moscow brothel, the place he undergoes a makeover and is remodeled into Countess Rzhevskaya. So the savior of Russia seems to be a drag queen—fairly weird contemplating that in 2013 Russia handed its first “Don’t Say Homosexual” legislation.

Countess Rzhevskaya meets Napoleon at a grand ball. He’s smitten with the countess who performs onerous to get. However the plan begins to go awry when Rzhevsky meets the lady of his desires—Miss Europe 1810 Natasha Rostova (heroine of Conflict and Peace, performed by Svetlana Khodchenkova) at a spa/health club. He desperately needs to fulfill her, however first he should get some males’s clothes.

He then encounters Jean-Claude Van Damme, in a cameo, who refuses to give up his garments. Rzhevsky overcomes the Muscle tissues from Brussels, takes his garments, and meets Natasha, who additionally performs onerous to get. Later, it seems that she’s additionally on a particular mission: cross-dressing as a younger French officer to spy on Napoleon. 

After leaving the spa, the countess is whisked away by French safety headed by the Marquis de Mazo Unhappy who has been searching for her on Napoleon’s orders. The countess had dropped her shoe on the ball, and its used it to determine the countess. She finally ends up tied to a chair in an underground cell the place Napoleon tries to seduce her. 

Extra problems ensue as Countess Rzhevskaya toys with the smitten Napoleon, whereas Lieutenant Rzhevsky lusts for Natasha. There’s even a double same-sex wedding ceremony, though not one of the members notice it. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but it surely does, in its means, type of conform with historical past.

So right here’s the entire movie. It’s in Russian with out subtitles, but it surely’s sufficient of a slapstick comedy that viewers can observe the fundamental plot.

Mockingly, the movie was banned from distribution in Ukraine in 2015 earlier than Zelenskyy grew to become president. The explanation was that the forged included the Russian comic Yuri Galtsev, who performed a supporting function because the mayor of Moscow. Galtsev was included on an inventory of individuals who threaten the nationwide safety of Ukraine, and the distribution of movies with the participation of individuals on the listing is prohibited.

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