Nice, cultivated, feel-good cinema, it’s a lively elegy with a somewhat folksy tone, an exercise in realism featuring a mainly nonprofessional cast—the film’s Russian title includes the name of the actor who plays the postman, Aleksey Tryapitsyn, thereby collapsing actor and character into one. It too speaks of truths everybody knows, but in a reassuring manner.
It's set in a small village far removed from city livin’, but is full of warmth, characters to give two tosses about and is blessed with a wholesale absence of mannerism. Such is the joy of casting non-professionals!
Shot by Aleksandr Simonov, cinematographer of several masterpieces by Konchalovsky's deceased compatriot Aleksey Balabanov, the film is a low-key comedy of quotidian detail, of ordinary folk surviving long past the point at which they've been forgotten.