Nirvana (2008)




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A crime and addiction-themed melodrama tightly wrapped in flamboyant, New Wave-style costumes, makeup and sets, director Igor Voloshin's Nirvana unfolds in contemporary Russia. Nurse Alisa (Olga Sutulova) relocates from Moscow to St. Petersburg, where she moves into a decrepit apartment building inhabited by disreputable characters. The young woman's colorful new neighbors include the bartender Vel (Marya Shalaeva) and her boyfriend, Valera (Artur Smolyaninov) who goes by the moniker "Dead Man." While Vel is at work during the day, Valera and Alisa ignite a torrid affair, which sends Vel completely around the bend when she finds out the truth. In retribution, Vel appoints a goon to scare the living daylights out of Alisa; Alisa promptly responds by breaking a bottle across the thug's head and turning Vel in to the authorities. The two women seemingly could not be more at odds with one another, but everything changes dramatically (and a friendship begins to blossom) when Alisa saves Vel from a heroin overdose, and the women - discovering that Valera has been kidnapped - team up to save the poor fellow from the direst of fates by journeying into the crime-ridden underworld of St. Petersburg.


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