The theme of the "simple man" usually focuses on social aspects. i.e. a man of a simple profession, of modest means and of little influence in society.
- BUT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN "THE SIMPLE MAN" AS AN EXISTENTIAL CONCEPT.
On the one side of the scales we have a short life and fear of death, but what is on the other side? What can reconcile us to all of this? Yes, sure, belief in God. That has always existed. But in recent times a new religion has emerged. The religion of success. "To be a famous person", "to make it in life". If you have done something significant and humanity knows about it, you are no longer a mere mortal – and it's not even about those around you, but the way you perceive yourself. Life has meaning and you are happy. The Grim Reaper may come to you, but it will struggle to take you with any satisfaction.
- THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME OF FATE IS TO CONSIDER YOURSELF "FAMOUS", OR AS A COMPROMISE, A "GREAT" PERSON.
Of course, we don't want cheap fame. We want to do something important in life. But what do you do if you aren't talented enough, but you are clever enough to understand this? You have a problem: you're not Victor Tsoy or Alexander the Great. At the same time, you took criminally little of the love from the person who has been by your side all your life, a love which seems of little importance or even bothersome. One day the idea of this film came to me as a way to talk about this issue. Alexander Zbruev, who at that time hadn't starred in any new films for ten years, played the main role, and Alexey Kapitonov played the main character in his youth. That's how the strange Alexeev in "A Film about Alexeev" came about. I even tried to make the name of the film stylistically portray that this was a story of a "simple man". I think it came out of a cross between simple, standard Russian collocations (A Film about War, a Film about Love, A Film about American Indians) and classic names in English Literature: "The Case of…", "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button", "The Strange Case of Mr. Pelham" and so on. That is, something extraordinary which happens to someone seemingly ordinary.