The film centers on Mike, a businessman in decidedly the new Russian mould. When Mike gets stung on a deal, his suspicions immediately fall on Lev, who receives the customary torture to make him reveal where the money has gone.
Moscow in the late 1990s - the city without past or future. It is cleared of people and cars. It is sterile and empty. There is almost always a dark night in that Moscow and the only place alive is a night bar. Confusion, despair, drinking, joyless sex, nostalgia for the past, golden girls and boys of the 70's, senseless conversations and long meaningful silence. The feast during the time of plague.
This Moscow does not believe in tears, words, or promises and does not forgive the smallest mistakes. Chekhovian interiors, three beautiful women with the name of three sisters, Irina, Masha, and Olga. This time they are a mother and two daughters but the mother looks as young and beautiful as her daughters. Finally, they are in Moscow but it did not make them happy. The men in their lives, "new Russians", criminals who love Art and dream of Russian Ballet Renaissance and Artists who look and act like criminals. They sleep with some, marry the others, and love someone else. Money, a lot of money that comes and goes easily and disappears without a trace. What's next? I don't know. It is not my city anymore.
What I do know that Alexander Zeldovich made a closest to masterpiece
post-Soviet film. Not Zvyagintsev with "The Return", not Chukhrai with
"The Thief", and certainly not Nikita Mikhalkvov with his postcard "The
Barber of Siberia". If ever a movie reflects the dark time of the night
watch, the time of absurdity, lack of logic and death of hopes -
"Moskva" it is. The screenplay was written by one of the most popular,
talented and notorious Russian writers Vladimir Sorokin and it combines
bleak criminal drama with Chekhov motives and very dark comedy. The
cinematography and remakes of the old popular Soviet songs are works of
geniuses, no more, no less. I don't mention acting - everyone had a role
of their life. (review by G_a_l_a_n_a)