Director Konchalovsky gave an academic lecture on 14 Oct 2010 in which he asked four rhetorical questions on the "Russian Soul." One of them was "Why Russians can build a rocket and send it off into space, but not make a decent car?" which links up with the end-sequence of this important film. My detailed review of the film appears at moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.in/2017/04/206-russian-director-andrei-mikhalkov.html
To play with the liminality of a remote lake it’s an easy game, the difficult part dwells in the cohesive echo which this element has to produce. Morning slippers, a hypnagogic cat, and the usual, overflooding, reference to vodka, constitute an ineffective attempt to do so. Ulterior exegesis about the socialist ghosts, , at this point, is redundant and even more mystifying (...that giant ministry aegis).