A peculiar variation on the run of Soviet-era nostalgia pics coming out of Russia lately, helmer Valery Todorovsky’s period-set musical “Hipsters” centers around some jazz-loving, quiff-sporting rebels-with-cause living in Moscow in the 1950s. Although a massive hit at home, taking approximately $16 million at the wickets, this great-looking but tonally uneven pic won’t jive with auds quite so well anywhere else, although fests may take a look for curiosity value.
Straight-laced young Communist Mels (Anton Shagin) risks expulsion from the Party and worse when he falls in with a crowd of flashily dressed hipsters. After a brief courtship, he hooks up with gorgeous Polly (Oksana Akinshina, “Lilya 4-Ever”), but storm clouds threaten the blue skies of their love as friends gradually leave the country, get arrested or discover that jazz is no longer cool in the West. The musical sequences where characters sing straight-to-camera are slickly choreographed, but would work better if the songs themselves weren’t such feeble pastiches. Still, given the pic’s handsome cast and pro production values, especially in the lensing department, it’s no surprise this has done as well as it has domestically — alongside an aggressive marketing campaign.