“WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!”  (‘Papa, sdokhni’)— Once Upon a Time in Moscow

“WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!”  (‘Papa, sdokhni’)

Once Upon a Time in Moscow

Amos Lassen 

 “Why Don’t You Just Die!” is an entertaining look at family life, Moscow style. Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) has just one objective: to gain entry to his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment and kill her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) with a hammer to restore her honor. But all is not as it initially seems, and Matvey’s attempts to kill the family patriarch don’t quite go to plan. Andrey is a formidable and ruthless opponent who is unwilling to die. Writer/director Kirill Sokolov explores family, modern relationships and the dark places they can take you to when things turn sour. “Why Don’t You Just Die!” is filled with laughs, twists and a lot of blood and gore and is an absurdly funny action-packed allegory. The non-linear pic is also a nasty take on Putin’s corrupt Russia. It’s a nihilistic film, one that turns things over and shocks.  

The film takes in Andrey’s small Moscow hi-rise apartment where he lives with his obedient wife Tasha (Elena Shevchenko). Matvei dressed in a Batman t-shirt, rings the bell while concealing a hammer with which he plans to use to kill the father of his actress girlfriend Olya (Evgeniya Kregzhde) for sexually abusing her as a child. He’s doing this as a favor for Olya, who requested it. She also told him dad keeps a large stash of money in the apartment and this awakens her boyfriend’s criminal impulses. When invited in, he drops the hammer and accepts the offer of a cup of tea. But soon the father and the boyfriend are fighting, as dad doesn’t like the idea of him having sex with his daughter.

Flashbacks give the backstories involving Matvei, Olya and Andrei’s police partner Evgenie (Mikhail Gorevoy). We learn of an earlier blackmail pact between the crooked cops allowing a deranged sex killer to escape jail, an incident that turned tragic. We arrival of Olya and Evgenie, the mayhem intensifies until the brutal conclusion at the apartment’s elevator entrance.
The film is a smartly constructed and blisteringly paced piece of chaos. Twists and turns are everywhere and by the end of the film, no one is exactly who they seemed to be at first. Surprise after surprise play with our minds.

Bonus Materials:

  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Brand new interview with author and critic Kim Newman, exploring Why Don’t You Just Die! within the context of the long-standing tradition of single location cinema
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals and the film set
  • Four short films by Kirill Sokolov: Could Be Worse, The Outcome, The Flame and the award-winning Sisyphus is Happy (Best Director and Gold Frame awards, 2013 Unprecedented Cinema International Festival of Short Film)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Kirill Sokolov’s complete original storyboard for the film (BD-ROM content)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Neil Mitchell

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