18 November 2005 | Efenstor
Nasreddin, the Robin Hood of the East! Those who read the Leonid Solovyov's brilliant book "Povest' of Hodzhe Nasreddine" (The Tale of Nasreddin the Hajji) will surely value this treasure of Jakob Protazanov for it is the only its faithful screen version that has approached the mischievous spirit of the book so close. Also it's hard to imagine a better Nasreddin than Leo Sverdlin with his ever-glittering cunning eyes and radiant smile. May be Guljan could be a bit more beautiful, still she's rather cute, and the emir could be more stout, though these are only small spots that do not obscure the shining of the whole treasure that is always a pure fun to watch! There even quite a lot of phrases and songs in Uzbek, the native language of the Hajji! There is no political satire, it's only a just jeering over the ignorant Muslim customs of that time. Hoodwinking the rich and the powerful to help the poor and the humble, didn't Robin Hood do that? Oh, he has NEVER could do it as the good Nasreddin could! It you loved the swindles of Robin Hood you'll surely love the flaming flimflammery of Nasreddin!
Unfortunately, there is no subtitled or even a properly-translated version exist, and in fact, even the Russian DVD has been released only in 2005 by the Master Tape company, though the quality is of no complaint for a 1943 rarity. If you know Russian or managed to get a well-translated version somehow, ease your heart, watch and have a true Asian fun. Highly, highly recommended.