I never quite understood the reasoning behind hiring celebrities for advertising campaigns. My passion for the movies does not transfer to an actor selling hair shampoo or breakfast cereal. Just because they can act doesn’t mean actors have some inside knowledge of a consumer item, let alone world affairs. Granted, I can enjoy a fun commercial that has an entertainer in it, but that is as far as it goes for me. Based on Viktor Pelevin’s novel, I found this off centered movie to be an unusual mix of comedy, drama and satire with a touch of science fiction added in for good measure. The movie told the story about the birth of the advertising industry in newly formed Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Epifantsey (Home, Fartovyy) played Babylen Tatarsky a former sales clerk who found himself thrust into the explosive world of commercials and product placements. Also starring Mikhail Efremov (9th Company, The House of Sun) as Leonid Azadovsky, I found some scenes thought provoking as I compared the Russian style of commercials to the ones here in the United States. One of the most interesting aspects of the movie was the scenes that dealt with the digitalization of popular figures into commercials. I found the idea disturbing to tell you the truth and still thought about it after I left the movie theater. On the other hand, these scenes I have mentioned were not enough to continue my interest in the story. Not sure what type of movie it wanted to be, I found myself periodically getting bored and confused. I could not tell if they were trying to mimic the times of the 1980’s or it was just poor cinematography in the way the movie was filmed. With a tighter focus, I think this could have been a better movie. It was that damn trailer I bet, that sucked me into seeing this film. Russian with English subtitles.