Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Irony of Fate
Irony of Fate (original title: Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!, in transcription: Ironiya Sudby ili s Lekhkim Parom ) is a Soviet comedy-drama directed by Eldar Ryazanov based on the script by Emil Braginsky and Ryazanov filmed in 1975. The film is traditionally shown on Russian TV every New Year's Eve. Many phrases from the film have become catch phrases in Russian.
"S lyokhkim parom!" (literally something like "I congratulate you for the light steam") is an idiomatical phrase to compliment somebody who has just come out of the shower, the banya, or the bathtube ("lyokij par" translates to "light steam").
It has been suggested that the movie can be seen as a subtle critism of the soulessness of Soviet Architecture .
Some friends meet at a banya in Moscow to celebrate New Year's Eve (Russian Novy God). All of them get very drunk, two of them even unconscious. Zhenya (Andrei Myagkov), one of the unconscious, is put on a flight to Leningrad the other one should have taken. So, he wakes up at Leningrad airport and believes he is still in Moscow. He wants to go home by taxi and gives the driver his street name and house number. As it turns out, in Leningrad there exists the same address and the building looks exactly the same as his, and, on top of this, even the key fits in. Inside the appartment he notices no differences and goes to sleep. Later, Nadya (Barbara Brylska), who lives in the appartment, comes home and finds a man in her bed. What's worse, Nadya's fiance, when he comes to visit her, also finds him there. Zhenya desperately tries to get back to Moscow in time for his New Year's eve meeting with his girl friend and Nadya wants to get him out as fast as possible, but unfortunately there are no flights for some time. The plot starts out as a comedy, but becomes more dramatic as it evolves around the relationship of Nadya and Zhenya, along with their relationships with their fiancees. First Nadya and Zhenya dislike each other very much, but then, at some point, they realize that they could stay together, as well.
It is important to note about the coincidence with the addresses that many street names are/were common to Soviet and now Russian cities (such as e.g. street of Red October, Leninskaya, etc.). Many houses look exactly the same and even appartments look very much the same from the inside. Thus, e.g. nobody has to ask for directions to the toilet, because the toilet is always next to the kitchen, and knives are always in the same drawer in the same cupboard that was built in all appartments of a certain type. The matching key is probably a joke by the film makers, though many Soviet locks look very much the same.
- The last shot should show Pluto but due to a defect of the film material it could not be shown.
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