Ghost / Призрак

Ghost (Призрак) is a 2015 Russian fantasy/comedy film.

It tells the story of Yuriy Gordeev, an aircraft designer and womanizer. He is about to make a breakthrough in his career—he believes that an airplane he designed is on the verge of extreme success in Russia and will win a government contract. But all of a sudden, he vanishes, and his competitors close down his company. In fact, he’s been in a car accident—because he was driving drunk—and turned into a ghost. The only person who can see him is the schoolboy Vanya Kuznetsov, who is the object of his classmates’ ridicule and is afraid to even talk to girls. Vanya is the only person who can help Yuriy save his career and his company, and Yuriy is the only person who can help Vanya become more self-possessed and confident.

Despite the film’s silly-sounding premise, it got very good reviews from critics and above-average opinions from audiences. Critics found the acting charming. Fyodor Bondarchuk, who plays Yuriy, has been called “one of the few authentic … domestic film stars” by Afisha. They also, of course, compared him to Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. Kommersant took a different tack, noting that actually, few Hollywood actors are as charming as Bondarchuk (some combination of Hollywood-bashing and Hollywood-jealousy seems to be a popular and common element in Russian film reviews). Critics also found the subject matter to be a pleasant departure from the usual, especially in terms of family comedies. In general, viewers thought the film was actually entertaining and funny.

 

Director: Aleksandr Voytinskiy
Stars: Fyodor Bondarchuk, Semyon Treskunov, Yan Tsapnik, Anna Antonova, Kseniya Lavrova-Glinka
Production company: Vodorod, STV
Box office take: $7.7 million

Official trailer:

Ghost / Призрак

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.