Any resemblance to actual people, places or events is purely co-incidental, according its producers.
But the plot of the new movie set for DVD release on Valentine’s Day in Russia bears a remarkable resemblance to the life of President Vladimir Putin.
“A Kiss – Off the Record” is the story of a young KGB spy from St Petersburg who falls in love with an air hostess called Lyudmila and goes on to conquer the Kremlin.
Although the film doesn’t mention the president by name, it leaves little doubt as to who the main character is.
But the film’s makers are adamant it is not the story of the presidential couple. Producer Anatoly Voropaev:
“Of course when you make a movie about politics and politicians, you can’t take people from Mars as our subject material,” he said. “We first of all wanted to make a movie about how we see and how we would like to see politicians.”
As for the actor playing the main character, Andrei Panin: “I don’t know if I look like him,” he said, “maybe from the back and with a different hair cut. It is the life of some big politician, seen through the eyes of a faithful friend, that’s it. Maybe there is another coincidience, he speaks German as well.”
Clearly, the film is not to everybody’s taste.
One film critic denounced a certain ambiguity, saying: “Either the producers are not calling a spade a spade, or they are using this to promote the film.”
From their first meeting, to their wedding in 1983, and even his wife’s car crash, it is all there, every step in Vladimir Putin’s life – a life which has been kept under wraps until now.
Very little is known about the Russian president and his family, prompting some critics to suggest that the date chosen to release this image-boosting movie could be more than just a coincidence – only weeks before the Russians go to the polls to elect Putin’s hand-picked successor.