After three years, Valery Todorovsky's unorthodox musical Hipsters has finally received a proper, non-festival release on these shores. But while it displays flashes of cleverness—a depiction of sex through scrolling over pages of the Kama Sutra, the Moulin Rouge-lite framing of some of the jazzier tunes—Hipsters never truly captures the gravitas that informs its flashy, ostensibly superficial subject matter. One never feels the fear and the sense of constantly being watched that pervaded the Soviet Union, even in the relative calm of the Khrushchev days, robbing the film of its tension long before it spins off into irrelevant subplots. Even when someone gets arrested for no justifiable reason, this Russia just lacks danger.
Check out my full review now at Spectrum Culture.