Remembering the Irony of Fate

It was the most popular TV series ever in the Soviet Union. The  plot starts off this way

Following their annual tradition, a group of friends meet at a banya (a traditional public “sauna” bath) in Moscow to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The friends all get very drunk toasting the upcoming marriage of the central male character, Zhenya Lukashin (Andrei Myagkov) to Galya (Olga Naumenko).

So far so good!

After the bath, one of the friends, Pavlik (Aleksandr Shirvindt), has to catch a plane to Leningrad; Zhenya, on the other hand, is supposed to go home to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his fiancée. Both Zhenya and Pavlik pass out. In an airport scene in which the two friends both become split between sleeping bodies and waking, talking spirits, they cannot remember which of their unconscious selves is supposed to be catching the plane and eventually mistakenly decide that it is Zhenya and push him sleepwalking on a plane instead of Pavlik.

And so it begins

On the plane, he collapses onto the shoulder of his annoyed seatmate, played by the director himself (Ryazanov) in a brief comedic cameo appearance. The seatmate helps Zhenya get off the plane in Leningrad. He wakes up in Leningrad airport, believing he is still in Moscow.

Errr …. that would be a problem.. Or perhaps not?

He stumbles into a taxi and, still quite drunk, gives the driver his address. It turns out that in Leningrad there is a street with the same name (3rd Builders’ street), with a building at his address which looks exactly like Zhenya’s. The key fits in the door of the apartment with the same number (as alluded to in the introductory narration, “…building standard apartments with standard locks”). Inside, even the furniture is nearly identical to that of Zhenya’s apartment. Zhenya is too drunk to notice the differences, and goes to sleep.

And this is just the beginning!

Here is the video introduction. Enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s