The First Channel starts showing the series “Gloom River”. Yuri Moroz’s new project is a screen version of the novel of the same name by Vyacheslav Shishkov. The action of the tape takes place in the late 19th – early 20th centuries. The main character is the merchant Prokhor Gromov. He is building his own enterprise, but on the way to his dream he will have to solve complex moral and ethical dilemmas. The roles in the series were played by Alexander Gorbatov, Sophia Ernst, Alexander Baluev, Yulia Peresild and others. How the new film adaptation compares favorably with the 1968 version – in the RT material.
The action of the tape takes place at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the center of the plot is the formation of the character of the entrepreneur Prokhor Gromov, a wealthy heir: his grandfather Danila made a solid fortune by robbery, and his father Peter invested an inheritance in his own business and succeeded.
When Prokhor and Peter begin a rivalry for the heart of the lonely beauty Anfisa, the father sends his son to the impassable Gloom River so that he does not interfere with his heartfelt affairs (and at the same time he learned how to develop trade with wild tungus and residents of distant cities). Prokhor returns from a dangerous journey with a rich bride and big plans for the future.
However, the misadventures of the young businessman are just beginning. Anfisa, now Peter’s bride, is trying to upset Prokhor’s wedding, since she herself wants to marry him. The hero will have to make many difficult decisions and reconsider his attitude to life.
Earlier, the novel “Gloomy River” was adapted for cinema by the Soviet director and screenwriter Yaropolk Lapshin. Georgy Epifantsev, Lyudmila Chursina, Alexander Demyanenko, Viktor Chekmarev and other famous artists starred in the 1968 four-part film.
“We are doing a slightly thankless job, because the novel has already been filmed, and in that adaptation there are great, great Soviet artists … on whom we grew up, looked up and took something. Therefore, there was a certain kind of fear and excitement. We were able to somehow cope with this and understand that we are making our view on the adaptation of the novel, “Alexander Gorbatov, who played the main role in the new tape, noted in an interview with RT.
© Shot from the movie “Gloomy River” (2020)
Screenwriter Maria Saprykina told RT that different possibilities for a second adaptation of the novel were considered back in the 1990s. The project was launched in 2012, and in total, the work on the painting took seven years.
Although the two tapes are united by the original source, there are few similarities between them. There are 16 episodes in Yuri Moroz’s tape, which made it possible to supplement the narrative with details, and not only cover the main milestones in the life of Prokhor Gromov. Viewers will learn more about the fate of the minor characters and the intricacies of the relationship of the central characters.
In addition, the plot of Yaropolk Lapshin’s painting mainly covers the first part of the novel, while the second is given in a condensed form. Now both parts are presented in a balanced way.
Some of the images were also rethought. Yuri Moroz noted that Prokhor Gromov is different in the novel and in each of the series.
“Since in a certain sense the construction of the novel“ Gloom River ”is very close to the construction of The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan Karamazov’s idea of a free mind, unlimited by nothing, is paramount for Prokhor. Probably not in the same key as that of the educated Ivan, but in the key of an unbeliever, but located between two worlds, the world above and the world below. And this dilemma, where Prokhor will go – either upward, or fall down – seemed to me very important for Prokhor, and that’s how we built this character, ”the director explained in an interview with RT.
The heroes of the series experience a gamut of conflicting emotions, which to some extent makes them similar to the characters of Dostoevsky. According to Maria Saprykina, she aimed to maintain “a very high intensity of passions in the novel.”
The image of Anfisa has also changed. The heroine performed by Yulia Peresild was made red-haired – according to director Yuri Moroz, redheads often have an extraordinary fate. In general, the interpretation offered by Peresild and Moroz is fundamentally different from that of Chursina and Lapshin. The new Anfisa turned out to be more passionate, but at the same time she lacks the restraint and pride of her predecessor.
Whereas in the late 1960s series, the socio-economic overtones were important, and the narrative was calibrated in accordance with the ideological agenda of the time, now filmmakers were able to add scenes related to religion. The mystical component, which manifests itself in the connection between Prokhor Gromov and the Tungus shaman Sinilga, has also become much larger.
© Shot from the movie “Gloomy River” (2020)
However, the theme of the class struggle was also reflected in the series. According to Maria Saprykina, “capitalist” history was defining at the earliest stages of the project’s development.
“It could have been quietly happening, for example, in the 1990s. At one time there was even an idea to transfer everything to our time, to make the first part in the 1990s, and the second – in our days, ”Saprykina noted. However, by the beginning of work on the script, this option was still abandoned.
As expected, in terms of the visual component, the two tapes have practically nothing in common. The old serial film was shot on black and white film in the specific aesthetics characteristic of the cinema of the 1960s. In the new series, viewers will see much more colorful landscapes – not only types of taiga, but also sketches of the Russian province. In some scenes, computer graphics were also used. As Denis Evstigneev noted in an interview with RT, its share is quite large for the television series.
The scrupulous work of the costume designer Larisa Lebedeva is obvious. The outfits became an organic continuation of the characters and the expression of the characters’ attitude. So, in some scenes Prokhor Gromov wears a simple shirt under a fashionable coat, which emphasizes his origin. The intellectual Ninochka is dressed in modest clothes of calm shades, and bright Anfisa – in colorful, patterned outfits.
The geography of the project includes many locations in different parts of Russia – Suzdal, Kineshma, the environs of Moscow and Yekaterinburg, as well as Belarusian Minsk. One scene could be filmed in three different locations. In total, the film crew went on seven expeditions.
“In terms of scale, it was probably the most difficult project for me – in terms of volume, the number of characters, in design, in decisions,” said the director.
Due to the fact that the new film adaptation was made using a variety of technical and creative resources of modern cinema, in addition to the content of the novel, the creators of the tape were able to most fully convey the atmosphere of merchant Russia at the turn of the century. And it seems that those times are not so far from these – and the problems of human relationships, the search for one’s place and moral choice touched upon in the series, certainly remain relevant to this day.
Source site russian.rt.com