Pros: successful directorial debut; balance between comedic and dramatic moments; irony of situations; soundtrack Cons: the awkwardness of some moments may seem drawn out “My Thoughts Are Silent” / “My Thoughts Are Silent”
Genre comedy, drama
Directed by Antonio Lukic
Starring Irma Vitovskaya (mother), Andrey Lidagovsky (Vadim)
Companies Toy Cinema, Ukrainian State Film Agency
Year of release 2020
Usually, when a new Ukrainian comedy appears on the playbill, it means that the main roles on the screen will be played by showmen and pop stars, and the quality of the jokes will be reminiscent of sketches from television entertainment programs. To our great joy, “My Thoughts Are Quiet” is a movie that is radically different from similar film products. It can be called festival, deliberately awkward and certainly does not fit into the framework of mass comedy production.
“My Thoughts Are Quiet” is the first full-length work for Antonio Lukic. It can be difficult to understand from the debut how the director works and what he focuses on. But in the case of Lukich, who participated in writing the script, the author’s sense of humor is immediately apparent, which manifests itself time after time in situations that combine absurdity and everyday life. One gets the impression that he is filming life episodes that he manages to endure in an extremely painful and shameful way, and only then is unexpectedly easy to retell.
There are only two central characters in the film – sound engineer Vadim and his mother. The main character works as a freelancer and records various sounds for clients. A representative of a Canadian company contacts him and offers the guy a rather interesting collaboration: to create a computer game, he must record the sounds of Ukrainian fauna. If the hero manages to get to one rare bird, he will be invited to work abroad. The prospects opening up to Vadim are like a dream that is about to come true. You just need to go to Transcarpathia and walk past the animals with a microphone. And also spend time with his mother, who volunteered to accompany her adult son.
The sound engineer is played by Andrei Lidagovsky, who is not a professional actor. This is visible almost immediately, so when watching his hero one gets the impression of particular realism. In the film, Lidagovsky never does anything intentionally funny; he behaves like an ordinary young man. The comedy of what is happening arises from the specifics of repeated situations, the absurdity of which is sometimes emphasized by the actor’s two-meter height. His hero, hunched over and wearing a camouflage cape, sneaks up on the artiodactyls, and then listens to the instructions of his mother, who has retained the habit of raising her son.
The role of the main character’s mother is played by theater and film actress Irma Vitovskaya, who was not afraid to star in a film with a team that is just beginning its journey into cinema. It is worth noting that in the film, the actress’s experience harmonizes well with the experience of her heroine. Therefore, confident movements and clearer speech turn into natural traits of a sociable mother, who will always contrast with her more reserved son.
Thanks to the established acting duo and a successful script, “My Thoughts Are Quiet” shows the loneliness of a parent who is not always ready to let go of their child, even if that child has long been an adult and independent person. The film cleverly plays with the idea that spending time together can be both beneficial and extremely uncomfortable for one family member.
The film contains many funny dialogues, which ironically, but without malicious ridicule, depict episodes from the life of an ordinary person. The director is best at creating silent scenes, the prolongation of which deliberately evokes discomfort – it creates a feeling of constraint as if everything is actually happening. Perhaps not all of these moments will please the audience, but they cannot be called superfluous.
Antonio Lukich also captures and conveys the peculiarities of Transcarpathia, again without turning into an evil joker, but only emphasizing what will certainly catch the eye. Together with the cameraman, he finds good angles, manages to show the landscapes, and adds excellent sound accompaniment to the footage. These are tracks in the synthwave genre that Lukic found on SoundCloud, as well as a song by a famous British band from the 90s, for which the film unexpectedly found an important semantic use.
It seems that the film “My Thoughts Are Quiet” is ready to fill the gap in the collection of Ukrainian comedy, which has long been replenished with similar films. That’s because the debut director’s work doesn’t focus on staging jokes, captures the ironies of life and finds room for family drama.
a new Ukrainian comedy that you won’t be ashamed to watch in the cinema.