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Aladin

Directed by

Ivan Maryanov

Produced by

Godofredo Mariano Productions

Written by

Godofredo
Edvard Joyner

Based on

Aladin Balkonovich's Secret Journal: The Life as Told by the Man and The Life and Times of Aladin Balkonovich by Edvard Joyner

Release date

December 3, 2014

Starring

Godofredo
Dzhamila Tarapova
Yelena Porsenko
Georgiy Dostalinsky

Budget

m24.5 million

Box office income

m102.4 million

Duration

97 minutes

Distributor

Margovyan National Pictures

Aladin is a 2014 Margovyan historical drama film directed by Ivan Maryanov and starring Godofredo as former Margovyan Vice President Aladin Balkonovich. The film also stars Dzhamila Tarapova, Yelena Porsenko, and Georgiy Dostalinsky. The screenplay, also by Godofredo, was loosely based on Aladin Balkonovich's Secret Journal: The Life as Told by the Man and The Life and Times of Aladin Balkonovich by Edvard Joyner and depicts the final five years of Balkonovich's life from the 1968 bombing of the Margovyan Palace and the following attempted coup d'etat to his life outside of politics. This movie marks Godofredo's entry into acting since his retirement from football management six months prior.

Aladin was produced by Godofredo and Maryanov through their production company Godofredo Mariano Productions. It is the second film project in which both Godofredo and Maryanov have worked together following the 2011 hit Love In All Its Forms. It is also the second motion picture to come out of Godofredo Mariano Productions, which also produced Love In All Its Forms. The film was released theatrically by Margovyan National Pictures on December 3, 2014.

Aladin received widespread critical acclaim, with major praise directed to the acting, especially Godofredo's performance, as well as the direction and production merits. Aladin was nominated for Best Film at the 2014 Amanda Viktoriyovskaya Film and Television Awards but lost to 377 kph; Godofredo won the award for Best Actor in a Historical Drama Film. The film was a modest commercial success grossing a little more than 100 million margots in the box office.

PlotEdit

The film begins in 1966 when Margovyan vice president Aladin Balkonovich (Godofredo) meets with the North Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng (Dorofeo Martinov) secretly in Basel, Switzerland. Balkonovich tells Phạm that the Margovyan Socialist Party has been working hard to drum up support for the North Vietnamese both in Margovya and the entirety of South America, but because of the influence of the United States and the Non-Aligned Movement, there aren't many people willing to support, openly at least, the North Vietnamese and the Communist cause. But Balkonovich assures Phạm that he is working on a plan that guarantee that Margovya will begin supporting North Vietnam within two years.

Two years later, on the eve of February 12, 1968, as President Juan Barbarov (Mark Politov) hosts US President Lyndon B. Johnson (Mikhail Pankavuranov) in an official state dinner, a car drives up the Pozzorubio Bridge to the Margovyan Palace with no intention of stopping. Both the Margovyans and the American Secret Service attempt to make the car stop, but as it approaches the final checkpoint into the Margovyan Palace, the car blows up, killing the driver and at least three other Margovyan and American security personnel.

The film flashes back to two weeks before the bombing. Balkonovich meets with an American named Dennis (Yakov Yurievsky), whom he assures that Margovya will soon fall in line with the United States. Their dialogue implies that Dennis is CIA and has been working with Balkonovich to get Margovya out of the Non-Aligned Movement and on the side of America. But it is also revealed that Balkonovich is actually using the assets that Dennis has been providing him to actually advance his own plans for a socialist Margovya in support of America's enemy North Vietnam and communism.

The film returns to the day of the bombing. As the authorities are cleaning up and starting their investigation into the attack, President Barbarov and Vice President Balkonovich are informed that Johnson has been temporarily flown to Arbatskaya City as a security measure. Suddenly, light tanks and armored personnel carriers storm Ikulsk, apparently led by Senate President Yulian Balkonovich (Mikhail Kutuzov), who is Aladin's cousin. Army units loyal to Barbarov and the present government clash with the rebels, who are eventually defeated. After the defeat of the attempted coup, Balkonovich writes in his private journal that his plan to take over Margovya has failed before tearing up that page and throwing it into the fire.

Two days after the attempted coup, Balkonovich is called to Barbarov's office. Barbarov reveals that Yulian Balkonovich and his co-conspirators have admitted that the coup was masterminded by Aladin, who had planned to take over the country by staging the coup immediately after the bombing of the Margovyan Palace and therefore cement his planned alliance with North Vietnam and the Soviet Union. Aladin neither confirms nor denies the allegations against him, but he betrays himself when Barbarov tells him that he must not seek re-election in the coming elections or else he will suffer the same fate that will befall his co-conspirators in the attempted coup. Barbarov then tells Aladin that he is disappointed that the only friend that he had by his side when his wife Svetlana Andivina (Raisa Portorenko) died in office would backstab him like this. Aladin quietly leaves the president's office and solemnly writes about the events in his journal.

After stepping down from office on April 6, 1968, Balkonovich is told by his wife Kseniya (Dzhamila Tarapova) that he must do something with his life or else he will end up dying or going crazy. She arranges for him to begin an affair with a Canadian reporter named Lorraine Wilde (Olga Grisenko) who is in Margovya as part of her special report on the politics of South America. Balkonovich, being a devout Catholic and a committed husband and father, is initially reluctant to start the affair, but Lorraine's bubbly and outgoing personality wins him over and they become lovers, as well as her source into the deepest and darkest secrets of Margovyan politics.

For the five years after his ignominious exit from politics, Balkonovich slowly works his way back into the Margovyan political scene, first by becoming an analyst, for which he receives guidance and mentoring from Lorraine, and then eventually becoming an adviser for Barbarov's new vice president, Vladislav Sikhovich (Martin Movchovsky). But even as he does this, Balkonovich sinks deeper and deeper into a depression that has begun since he was told by his former friend Barbarov that he has disappointed him. Balkonovich ends up finding solace and company in the form of a young man who is variously referred to as "the Actor" and "the Movie Star" (Georgiy Dostalinsky). Balkonovich begins a secret affair with "the Movie Star" alongside his own "affair" with Lorraine, but Kseniya almost immediately uncovers the other affair but doesn't do anything about it once she realizes that this affair with "the Movie Star" is helping Balkonovich deal with his depression.

Balkonovich's daughter Nadezhda (Yelena Porsenko) discovers his relationship with "the Movie Star" and demands that he end it, saying that it is "disgusting" and 'against all that he [Balkonovich] has taught her [his daughter]." Balkonovich denies his daughter's allegations of homosexuality, telling her that he and "the Movie Star" have only "found refuge and companionship" with each other. This results in Nadezhda storming out of their house.

On September 13, 1973, Balkonovich visits "the Movie Star" at the latter's home in Quintin del Pan. They are in the middle of "finding refuge and companionship" with each other when Balkonovich clutches at his chest and falls to the ground dead. "The Movie Star" panics and calls the first person he could think of for help: Balkonovich's other lover, Lorraine. Lorraine then calls Kseniya and tells her of what happened to her husband, and Kseniya immediately arranges for Balkonovich's body to be found in the bathroom of Lorraine's apartment, which happens to be down the street from "the Movie Star"'s house.

In the final scene of the movie, Balkonovich is asked if there was anything in his life that he regretted that he did. Balkonovich replies in the negative.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Godofredo had been looking to make a film version of the life of Aladin Balkonovich, specifically the last five years of his life from the bombing of the Margovyan Palace in 1968 to his untimely death in 1973 after having found inspiration in the books Aladin Balkonovich's Secret Journal: The Life as Told by the Man and The Life and Times of Aladin Balkonovich, both by noted Margovyan historian and writer Edvard Joyner. Godofredo reportedly had a script-form treatment written by 2013; Joyner himself added to the script and made other recommendations once the project was picked up by Godofredo's friend and regular collaborator Ivan Maryanov.

CastingEdit

Dzhamila Tarapova and Yelena Porsenko were announced as playing the roles of Balkonovich's wife Kseniya and daughter Nadezhda respectively in August 2014. Georgiy Dostalinsky was signed to an undisclosed role in September of the same year. Godofredo decided to play the role of Balkonovich himself after judging that "there was no one else who could portray the rollercoaster of emotions that Aladin went through in the final years of his life", despite the fact that he has little acting experience outside of his role as Comrade Lorenzo in the 2010 film We Have to Survive: The Yefrem Dragunov Story.

Ivan Maryanov announced his intentions to start filming sometime in September 2014 while promoting Mafiya: The Last Stand. He announced that he and Godofredo would have a 24.5 million margot budget for the film to sooth investors and a few film industry insiders.

Historical inaccuraciesEdit

While the film has been praised for sticking to the historical truth of the events surrounding the final years of Aladin Balkonovich's life, there are still some inaccuracies in the film which have been raised by historians and critics alike.

The bombing of the Margovyan PalaceEdit

The bombing of the Margovyan Palace as depicted in the film shows a car driving up the Pozzorubio Bridge and straight at the roadblock manned by both Margovyan and American security forces before blowing up. Some historians and critics claim the road from Ikulsk to the Pozzorubio Bridge to the Margovyan Palace was engineered in such a way as to prevent such an attack from happening at all, but others claim that the current layout of the route from Ikulsk to the Margovyan Palace was designed as a result of the 1968 bombing.

The identity of "The Movie Star"Edit

While Balkonovich is known to have had a friendship or even a relationship with a young gay man, no one has been able to uncover the true identity of Balkonovich's partner; even Balkonovich only ever referred to his other lover as "the Actor" or "the Movie Star". For most of the early millennium, there have been both rumors and urban legends circulating that it was Conrada Cortesova (back when she was still known as Konrad Kortesov) had been the so-called "Movie Star". Cortesova neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, but in both the books and the film, Edvard Joyner believes that Cortesova is "the Movie Star", as indicated by the casting of Georgiy Dostalinsky in the role; Dostalinsky is said to look a lot like the young Konrad Kortesov.

However, recent evidence has been uncovered in 2016 by Joyner which could give a new identity to "the Movie Star". According to Joyner, he has found evidence that "the Movie Star" could be Larry Taktarov, son of actor Illarion Taktarov and most famous as Yuri Grigoriyev in the Mission Implausible series and as Pavel Tusanov in The Karageorgiyevs before his death in 2005 following complications from AIDS. Taktarov came out as gay back in 1995 and admitted that he had identified as such since he was sixteen. Taktarov was born in Quintin del Pan and lived in the same block of apartments in which Balkonovich was found dead on September 13, 1973.

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