John Freedman: 'And then there are the numerous scenes where comedy and heart-stopping drama race forward hand in hand. For me, one of the most memorable of these moments takes place as the luckless but congenial Tuzenbach (Alexei Shevchenkov) swears repeatedly that he is going to be happy. Every time he utters the word "happy," the pompous Lieutenant Colonel Vershinin (Andrei Merzlikin), all philosophy and no brains, stridently interrupts him and grumbles, "No!" By the seventh or eighth round of this shotgun exchange, we are consumed by laughter and shaken by the realization that, jerk or not, Vershinin is right -- the clueless Tuzenbach can't ever possibly be happy.'


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