“Peasant” has become the highest-grossing domestic film in the history of Russian cinema.
Directed by Klim Shipenko, the comedy has raked in over 3 billion rubles (roughly 45.5 million USD). Only the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” grossed more in Russia.
The film is about a spoiled rich boy who is sent back in time to be a lowly peasant — basically a serf — in a poor pre-revolutionary Russian village. He doesn’t know that he is actually in an elaborate set with actors, all organized and funded by his rich father, who wants to teach him a lesson.
While the film has received generally positive reviews for its production and execution, some question its conflicting messages regarding violence and humor.
In a Timeout.ru review, Vera Alenushkina criticizes the film’s tendency to downplay brutality and reward violent behavior, arguing that the film’s label as a “family comedy” discounts the severity of the portrayed violence. This sentiment was echoed by other reviewers.
The film opened on December 26 and continues to play in theaters.