Chris’s review published on Letterboxd :
Recommended to me by Mr Bobinsky at indiescifi451. Included in his top 10 Soviet sci-fi films
My thoughts. The tone of the film is very specific, a sort of absurd kafkaesque deadpan comedy/mystery with a sense of dread and an unexpected story. In Kafka's world, you cannot get an answer to your questions from the authorities and absurd misunderstandings and accusations occur.
The restaurant scene is particularly surprising and funny. Amusing the museum is in the middle of nowhere and something odd is going on with the museum exhibits. I probably didn’t get the full impact, as the Russian history and politics went over my head. It’s unclear what is going on in the main character’s mind and what is actually real. Perhaps the town have created a scam. I could be wrong, my theory is the town wanted Varakin to replace the chef. The film could be viewed as an allegory for governmental control and freedom of the individual, something that was an issue behind the iron curtain in the 80s. Open to more than one interpretation. I wonder if the museum exists somewhere in Russia or was created just for the film?