Kaviar [Caviar] (2019)

Director: Elena Tikhonova
Writer: Robert Buchschwenter, Elena Tikhonova
Cast: Margarita Breitkreiz, Darya Nosik, Sabrina Reiter, Georg Friedrich, Simon Schwarz, Mikhail Evlanov, Joseph Lorenz, Robert Finster
Seen on: 20.10.2021 (somehow missed to review this one)

Nadja (Margarita Breitkreiz) works as the personal translator and all around organizer for Igor (Mikhail Evlanov), giving her in-depth knowledge of his dealings, little of which is actually legal. Nadja doesn’t really like it, but she has two kids and not that many options. When Igor hatches a new plan though – buying the Schwedenbrücke in Vienna (a bridge in the city center) to build an estate on – this is easier said than done, even in Vienna where people are willing to be very flexible for profit. Enter Klaus (Georg Friedrich), the husband of Nadja’s best friend Vera (Darya Nosik). Klaus has been waiting for an opportunity to make a deal or two with Igor and is sure that he can provide the necessary connections. The money that needs to change hands does give Nadja, Vera and Nadja’s nanny Teresa (Sabrina Reiter) an idea, though. Maybe this time it is them who get to be rich.

Kaviar is an entertaining film that makes fun of both Russian and (and even more so) Austrian business men. With its feminist undertones and its perfect political timing, it’s certainly a film to see.

The film poster showing Nadja (Margarita Breitkreiz) biting her lip, with Vera (Darya Nosik) and Teresa (Sabrina Reiter) behind her. Below them are Ferdinand (Simon Schwarz), Igor (Mikhail Evlanov) and Klaus (Georg Friedrich) toasting with champagne and a suitcase full of cash.

Kaviar is a comedy. It’s often a little overblown and silly, but beneath the colorful and loud exterior, there is a serious core. Yes, the idea of someone trying to buy the Schwedenbrücke seems a little out there, but then again, the film came out just around the same time as the Ibiza affair shook Austrian politics where an actual politician did promise pretty much everything to a (assumed) Russian oligarch, so really, Tikhonova’s premise is not as out there as it may appear at first. In fact, it was downright clairvoyant of her.

And she really nails the shady politics of the men here. Igor who just expects everyone to be corrupt because that’s how things are done in Russia, and the Austrian trio of Klaus, Ferdinand (Simon Schwarz) and Hans (Joseph Lorenz) who are just too happy to prove him right at the smallest chance of making a quick buck.

Nadja (Margarita Breitkreiz), Vera (Darya Nosik) and Teresa (Sabrina Reiter) huddling over a bag full of cash.

But while the men are running the main show, the women look for a way to get themselves into play as well – using the way they are dismissed and barely noticed by the men in their business delirium to fly in under the radar. I really loved the alliance they build, though I didn’t like that we had to get a subplot about Nadja and Vera fighting over a guy (although I understand – Robert Finster’s Don is capital H Hot).

In short, Kaviar is a really entertaining film, albeit a little shrill sometimes. But it does fit the general tone of the story, and gives us a good excuse to laugh about Austrian politics (instead of crying about it as seems so often necessary). I had a good time with it.

Nadja (Margarita Breitkreiz), Vera (Darya Nosik) and Teresa (Sabrina Reiter) toasting each other as they plot.

Summarizing: Fun.

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