Gorko! 2 (Горько! 2) is a 2014 Russian comedy and the sequel to the popular 2013 Gorko! (Горько!). The film has a very strange premise: in stark contrast to that of the previous film, about the wedding(s) of central couple Natasha and Roma, this one is about a funeral. This is particularly odd as the name of the film refers specifically to a Russian wedding tradition.

The film centers on the funeral of Boris Ivanovich, Natasha’s stepfather—but he has actually faked his own death in order to avoid paying some crushing debts. The action picks up when Boris’s old army buddy shows up at the wake.

The film got abysmal reviews from audiences, with only a 3.7 rating on KinoPoisk. The film also only grossed about half of what the successful original  Critics were more mixed in their assessment. Colta thought some parts of the film achieved true tragicomedic status, in the grand tradition of Russian legendary director Leonid Gaidai (Леонид Гайдай), but as a whole the film wasn’t a major achievement. Rossiyskaya Gazeta, as is common in reviews of Russian films, discussed its potential as a “national” film, since it centers on the subject of the traditional Russian wake/funeral. Ruskino wrote that the film kept up with some of the comedic achievements of the first film but, as is normal for sequels, didn’t hold up quite as well. The intentionally amateur-esque filming and the acting were both praised, but a major shortcoming, in contrast to the first film, was that the film was unrealistic and didn’t portray as true or relatable a portrait of Russian life.

The film was nominated for one award, the Georges (Жорж) for best Russian comedy. (The Georges is the only Russian film award to be decided entirely by an audience vote.) It lost out to A Kitchen in Paris (Кухня в Париже).

Find Gorko! 2 on Amazon

 

Director: Zhora Kryzhovnikov
Stars: Yan Tsapnik, Yulia Aleksandrovna, Yelena Valyushkina, Yulia Sules, Vasiliy Kortukov, Yegor Koreshkov
Production company: Bazelevs Productions, Kinokompania Lunapark, Tabbak
Box office take: $13.4 million

Official trailer:

Gorko! 2

Find Gorko! 2 on Amazon

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.