Я худею, known in English as I am Losing Weight, was directed by Aleksey Nuzhnyy and produced by the companies Droog Drooga and Versus Pictures. The movie was released on March 8, 2018 in Russia, then in Austria and the Baltic nations throughout March of 2018. According to film data website The Numbers, Я худею made a total of $10,999,308 at the global box office. The film was nominated for several of Russia’s APKIt Awards and has been widely enjoyed as a heart-warming romantic comedy and story of personal growth.
You can watch the full movie for free at ivi.tv.
Synopsis of Я худею (Moderate Spoilers)
Я худею begins with the main character, Anya, struggling to find a suitable dress for a wedding as she criticizes herself in the mirror. After reluctantly settling on one, she decides not to accompany her athletic boyfriend, Zhenya, to the party. After seeing social media posts in which a slim girl kisses Zhenya on the cheek, Anya decides to go to the reception, where Zhenya breaks up with her, saying that she’s gotten heavy. Thus begins Anya’s journey of self-discovery and lifestyle changes.
Throughout the movie, Anya’s goal is to win Zhenya back by losing weight and conforming to the societal standard of beauty she encounters on social media and at parties. The first part of the movie shows Anya struggling to quell her cravings and appetite. With the help of her best friend, Natasha, and her unlikely new trainer and friend, Kolya, Anya is able to meet her weight loss goal. Though she is happy to have reached her goal, she finds Zhenya with a new girlfriend already and spirals back into questioning herself.
After this renewed crisis, Anya discovers that she has more to reevaluate in her life than just her physical health. She learns that her friendships, family, and passions deserve attention as well, and the lessons she has learned in the realm of health translate into these areas as well. Much of what she learns stems from her relationship with Kolya, who motivates her to stick with her goals and, in the end, to learn to value herself and life.
Viewing Я худею as an Intermediate Russian Speaker
Because Я худею stars young adults and centers around themes of health, lifestyle, and relationships, much of the talking in the movie is fast-paced and emotional. This can make understanding individual words and phrases difficult, but as an intermediate speaker, I was still able to pick up enough to understand the story.
Watching modern movies like this with a lot of colloquial speech and pop culture references is also a great way to adjust your ear to Russian in a way that will become useful when you get the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the language abroad. There are also some commonly used cognates and references to American pop culture in Я худею. While it may be slightly on the more difficult side for understanding, there are definitely words you will recognize and some that would be useful to add into your working vocabulary.
Below are a few of these words and phrases to get you started.
Beginner Vocabulary: еда (food), музикант (musician), супер (super), щётка (brush), платье (dress), растение (plant), проблема (problem), толстый (fat), сладкое (sweet, dessert), душа (soul), сахар (sugar), калория (calorie), аппетит (appetite)
Additional Vocabulary: круто (cool), ясно (clear), постоянно (constantly), спокойный (calm), свободный (free), ребята (guys), бесплатный (free of cost), прошение (application, petition), вместе (together), клуб анонимных обжор (glutton anonymous club), больной (sick), первая форма любви (first form of love), ананас (pineapple), полезный (healthy, useful), тело (body), тренировка (workout, training)
Verbs to Review: просить/попросить (to ask), звонить/позвонить (to call), справляться/справиться (to cope), танцевать/потанцевать (to dance), бегать/бежать/побежать (to run), купаться (to swim), расставаться/расстаться (to break up), представлять/представить (to introduce, to represent)
This is also a great opportunity to review your eating and drinking verb conjugations!
есть/съесть (to eat): ем, ешь, ест, едим, едите, едят,
доедать/доесть (to finish eating): доедаю, доедает, доедаем, доедаете, доедают
пить/выпить (to drink): пью, пьёшь, пьёт, пьём, пьёте, пьют
Notice that there are two different eating verbs you will hear in Ya hudeyu. In Russian, there are several different forms of the verb “to eat.” The perfective form “съесть” is used to convey that one “ate up” something or finished eating something in the past tense. There is also the verb “доедать/доесть,” which conveys the idea of finishing food as well. Pay attention to when Anya and other characters use these different forms in Ya hudeyu. The distinctions are slight, but knowing when to use the different verbs to detail what you mean can bring your Russian to the next level.
Ya hudeyu received ratings of 6.5 from IMDb, 6.9 from KinoPoisk, and 7.9 from ivi.tv. The movie features Aleksandra Bortich as Anya Kulikova, Evgeny Kulik as Kolya Barabanov, Irina Gorbacheva as Natasha, and Roman Kurtsyn as Zhenya. Bortich does an excellent job of portraying the difficulties of self-discipline, relationships, and complicated family situations in the movie. Her relationships with her best friend Natasha, portrayed by Gorbacheva, and her new friend Kolya, played by Kulik, demonstrate the importance of having a strong support system in life. Her relationship with the shallow Zhenya, on the other hand, represents the message of character over appearance in the movie.
As someone studying Russian, I enjoyed watching the film for the colloquialisms and pop culture references. The movie soundtrack features both popular Russian and American music and gives insight into daily life in the large capital city of Moscow. Viewers also catch a glimpse into farm life, dachas, and banyans, which remain important features of Russian culture today.
Overall, Ya hudeyu is a heartwarming movie with good messages embedded throughout and provides a fun way to improve your Russian language skills!
Watch the the trailer below and the full movie for free at ivi.tv.