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Rabbit Over the Void

While on a state visit to Moldova, Leonid Brezhnev ends up becoming a matchmaker for a lovelorn gypsy in "Rabbit Over the Void." Crazier than a march hare, Russian helmer Tigran Keosayan's romantic comedy plays like a cross between a bad Emir Kusturica movie and a distaff version of "Cyrano de Bergerac."

While on a state visit to Moldova, Leonid Brezhnev ends up becoming a matchmaker for a lovelorn gypsy in “Rabbit Over the Void.” Crazier than a march hare, Russian helmer Tigran Keosayan’s romantic comedy plays like a cross between a bad Emir Kusturica movie and a distaff version of “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Already available on ancillary domestically, prettily shot “Rabbit” is not entirely devoid of charm and may enjoy minor fest play.

It’s the 1970s, and while local Moldovan officials fuss over the upcoming visit from Brezhnev (Bogdan Stupka, almost making this nonsense work), handsome gypsy fiddler Lauter (Vartan Darakchyan) tries to negotiate with the Baron (Sergei Gazarov) for the hand of his daughter (Valeria Lanskaya) in a rural village. When Brezhnev lands — via hot-air balloon! — the romantic-minded premier happily agrees to help Lauter out, especially since he’s also been thwarted in love, have carried a flame for years for Queen Elizabeth II (impersonated ridiculously in the pic’s gobsmacking finale by Yelena Safonova). Crack lenser Igor Klebanov (“A Driver for Vera”) seemingly worked only at magic hour, so every scene has a sunset gild, overenhanced by lurid process work.

Rabbit Over the Void

Russia

  • Production: A Central Partnership presentation of a Studia 2B production. (International sales: Central Partnership, Moscow.) Produced by Ruben Dishdishyan. Directed by Tigran Keosayan. Screenplay, Dmitri Ivanov.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Igor Klebanov; music, Alexey Rybnikov; art directors, Klebanov, Keosayan; costume designer, Natalya Alexandrova. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 13, 2006. Running time: 90 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Bogdan Stupka, Vladimir Ilyin, Mikhail Yefremov, Yelena Safonova, Valeriya Zaitseva, Sergei Gazarov, Vartan Darakchyan, Valeria Lanskaya. Russian, Moldovan, English dialogue.
  • Music By: