This is one of my ‘guilty-pleasure’ posts as I wasn’t in a mood for anything particularly deep this week. Ukrainian director Aleksandr Parkhomenko’s “Hutorskie strasti” translates as Hamlet of Passion, a comedy that resembles one of the gleefully naughty stocking-fillers that get released during Christmas. It has a festive air to it, with moustached gentlemen – Asterix and Obelix like, chasing, or being pursued by impossibly attractive women adorned in flowers and colourful ribbons, as if they were presents waiting to be unwrapped – also their only clothing in some scenes. The dress code however facilitate unfettered brandishing of their bountiful charms as they cast their ‘come hither’ gaze upon characters and the audience.
The story – I’m only guessing since the DVD came without subtitles, is about our pint-sized but strong and chivalrous hero Vakula (Oleg Dyachuk), who needs to somehow procure the pearl-studded knickers of the Russian empress (Lesya Kozachuk) in order to win the heart of reticent but voluptuous and sensual village belle Oksana (Oksana Borbat). With some help from no less than the devil himself, he will not only succeed (and get to poke the empress as a ‘thank you’ gift in the process), but also transform into a mighty hunk (Sergey Konyshko), just in time to pluck Oksana’s demanding cherry. In between, we shall see antics from a Fellini-inspired witch (Vika Novitskaya) who goes on a date with the devil after having had, and gotten bored with every other man in the village, and the saucy Odarka (Valentina Vyntu) – a local S&M mistress with lesbian leanings, who’s also a close friend of Oksana.
Granted, this isn’t really exacting cinema, but it has its merits, not least in its kitsch characterisation and the presence of an incredibly sexy Oksana Borbat – a Ukrainian model who also appears to possess a natural talent for comedy. It’s like watching a Bollywood film with tits and asses – totally outrageous and non-PC, but in a boisterously friendly, Slavic fashion. We also get to see a brief albeit hackneyed glimpse into traditional Ukrainian mores, costumes, and folk music. The editing is hilarious, and the camera unashamedly worships Ms. Borbat. But the film has helped me get over an otherwise forgettable week, and at least for these reasons, it is Recommended Viewing..!
The Nudity: Oksana Borbat, Valentina Vyntu, Vika Novitskaya, Lesya Kozachuk, and Yuliya Kolodyuk
The film is awash with nudity from various actresses with barely noteworthy nudity from the male actors – Oksana Borbat is the highlight of the film. Valentina Vyntu offers support with her sauciness, and there’s plenty of groping and squeezing between the two. There’s also brief nudity from Vika Novitskaya, Lesya Kozachuk, and Yuliya Kolodyuk.