Me and Felix Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On April 11, the dramatic film “Me and Felix” began showing in cinemas, which became the debut in a full-length feature film directed by Irina Tsylyk. Its plot is based on the autobiographical novel “Who Are You?” by Artem Chekh. In the review below we tell you why modern Ukrainian cinema quite actively reflects on the theme of the turbulent 90s and how successfully the current film does this.


interesting dramatic story; wonderful acting works by Yuri Izdrik and Vladislav Balyuk; carefully recreated era and atmosphere of the 90s; absence of deliberate “chernukha”; another project that will replenish the collection of high-quality Ukrainian cinema of the new wave


a certain climactic understatement will definitely not please everyone;

“Me and Felix”

Genre: drama, coming-of-age
Director Irina Tsylyk
Starring Yuri Izdrik, Andrey Cherednik, Vladislav Balyuk, Anastasia Karpenko, Galina Veretelnik-Stepanova, Andrey Isaenko, Alexandra Semenko, Vladimir Gladky
Premiere cinemas
Year of release 2022
IMDb website

One day, young Timofey’s grandmother brings home a new boyfriend – a slightly strange grandfather named Felix. As it later turns out, he once fought in Afghanistan, and is now trying to quench the pain of his crippled soul with a bottle. The boy’s mother clearly does not approve of the presence of an alcoholic with PTSD in the house, but Timofey, given the sporadic presence of his father in his life, seems to find a common language with his grandmother’s new hobby. Now our cinema has reached the stage where one of its most important driving forces is the adult generation of the 90s. It was the children or teenagers of this half-starved, barefoot era who today turned into the artists who fuel our modern cinema (and the entire culture as a whole).

Their self-reflection, which is reproduced in the plots, will absolutely receive a sincere response from everyone whose youth fell on the dark post-Soviet years. In which, despite the devastation that Ukraine inherited from the Soviets, there was also happiness, because the naive childish view of the world refused to understand and see the surrounding insignificance.

Of the last important Ukrainian premieres, Antonio Lukich (born in 1992) turned to the era of the 90s in the wonderful “Luxembourg, Luxembourg,” and also Philip Sotnichenko (born in 1989) in the post-Soviet noir “La Palisiade.” Now they have been joined by Irina Tsilyk, who, although a little older than her colleagues, also grew and developed as a person in the 90s.

The plot of her debut feature film is based on the autobiographical novel “Who Do You Think You Are?” Artem Chekh is the husband of a talented director who received a Sundance award for the documentary “The Earth Is Blue Like an Orange” (2020). As Irina herself admitted, even before filming it was decided that “the film will not adhere to a literary basis, but rather will be based on the world of heroes and storylines. “The film ended up going in a slightly different direction.”

“Me and Felix” is an expressive coming-of-age story, dramedy in genre, with a strong emphasis on drama. The director masterfully builds the narrative against the backdrop of well-recognized scenery and characters. It seemed that Timofey and Felix had absolutely nothing in common, but their quirky friendship evoked pleasant feelings.

Complete poverty does not allow the guy to hope for the desired sneakers. And how can you now look cool in the eyes of a dear girl from a wealthy family in these old worn-out shoes? Felix, on the other hand, is a long-crippled lonely soul who drowns the pain in a bottle, but feels the need to tell the kid something, spend time with him, and, in the end, buy those damn shoes (which will then be taken away by the local gopot anyway). The meeting of heroes is not so fateful, but it will significantly affect both. Deprived of his father’s attention, Timofey finds in Felix a friend, a dad, and, possibly, a mentor.

At first glance, the uneventful plot does not contribute to viewer involvement, but during viewing, all skepticism, if any, quickly evaporates. And although, first of all, this is a movie about pain, there is also room for a slight smile.

Ukrainian writer Yuriy Izdrik did an excellent job with his role, as did Vladislav Balyuk, who performed the role of Timofey in his teens. Their interaction on camera is truly captivating.

A long-past, but by no means forgotten era has been recreated here with great care.

Everything in the frame speaks specifically about her: bulky furniture, the Electron TV, Cosmos cigarettes, strange wallpaper, on top of which magazine posters with Schwarzenegger and Stallone adorn the wall in the guy’s room. The festive champagne, of course, is “Soviet”, because what else could there be on the table? Those same New Year’s toys on the Christmas tree. Incendiary Eurodance in my father’s Zhiguli. Outside the window, the guys carefreely cut themselves into squares right on the asphalt, because there was no talk of any artificial mini-fields.

In fact, each of those who are now 35-40 years old can easily recognize something different in Timofey’s life. But Tsilyk’s film is a journey into the past not for the sake of sweet nostalgia or romanticization of the past. The film is intended to capture the challenges we all once faced and how it affected us today. Tempered enough then to have the strength to live now.


A must see for everyone whose youth was in the 90s and for viewers who appreciate high-quality Ukrainian cinema.

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