Friday 22 December 2006

Letter to Brezhnev (1985) - ickleReview (DVD)

Love story about two Scouse girls who meet a couple of Russian sailors out one night in Liverpool. One of them (Margi Clarke) is looking for a good, care-free time; the other, Elaine (Alexandra Pigg), wants romance. Sergei (Alfred Molina) and Peter (Peter Firth) duly oblige. However, the sailors have to go home the next day, which leaves Elaine, who has fallen in love with Peter, desolate.

Had it ended here, it would have been a bonnie enough film, akin to Before Sunrise but without the eloquence. Yet it moves on to a second act in which Elaine, rather implausibly, writes to the Russian president to intercede in her situation: she wants to marry Peter but he is not allowed to leave the Soviet Union.

The film looks dated with 80s fashion disasters around every pub pint. It is now a period piece for Thatcher's Britain. Pigg and Firth give the best performances, although Eileen Walsh is amusingly course as Elaine's mother.

By no means a bad film - the first half is sweet - but the second is less engaging. Writer Frank Clarke is at his best creating Scouse banter on a night out.

Nugget: nothing to write home to Russia about, but not to be written off either.

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