Scen.: Leonid Lukov, Jakov Smoljak. F.: Michail Kirillov. Scgf.: Pëtr Paškevič. Mus.: Nikita Bogoslovskij. Int.: Tat’jana Pileckaja (Tanja Ogneva), Julian Panič (Fedja Morozov, suo marito), Lev Sverdlin (padre di Tanja), Ol’ga Žizneva (madre di Tanja), Bruno Frejndlich (Roščin), Tat’jana Konjuchova (Sonja Orlova), Georgij Jumatov (Stëpa Ogurcov), Ada Vojcik (madre di Fedja), Vladimir Dorofeev (Sergejčuk), Sergej Blinnikov (Zubov). Prod.: Kinostudija imeni M. Gor’kovo. 35mm. D.: 104’. Col.
Young critics of the Thaw were skeptic about Raznye sud’by, judging it too didactic and of little sophistication. These claims were not totally unfounded, especially regarding the screenplay and the director’s style, which was so lacking in cultural allusions that Dovženko, somewhat spitefully, defined Lukov as a “biological talent”. Nevertheless, the film was enormously successful and is still very popular today. It is a typical Thaw film, if for nothing else because it deals with the world of feelings, which was forbidden in the late Stalin period. Social conflicts are a marginal feature of the plot, at times appearing as foundations of the past and at others subject to radical rethinking. For example, the main character revealing her marital problems at the Komsomol meeting demonstrates her cynicism, while the tense reaction of her lover – an older composer – to reviews of his work is an echo of the Stalin period when negative criticism was like a prison sentence.
The main character, played by beautiful Tat’jana Pileckaja, rises from merely being a ‘pretty young lady’ at the film’s beginning to its star, which was not a meaningless development. The more her character is disapproved of, the more seductive the actress appears. The beautiful woman who is also dangerous and predatory was another common feature of early Thaw films. The film’s structure is divided in three equal storylines in which the common denominator is the vamp-protagonist who invades the private life of others destroying its harmony. The plot’s development foreshadows the structure of the television series (from Bol’šaja žizn’ [A Great Life] onwards, Lukov’s films tended towards a series format). It was not by chance that its temporary title was Znakomye sud’by’ (Familiar Fates), indicating a specific awareness of mass culture conventions and conflicts (the ministry of culture changed its title for a more didactic tone).