Silver Skates: The Perfect Winter Aesthetic


Erin Hong, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Personally, I think that one of the most important components of a movie is its cinematography. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the movie Silver Skates, the first-ever Russian “Netflix Original” film. The gorgeous scenes in the movie were all I needed to boost my serotonin. Because the story takes place in the icy streets and splendid palaces of Saint Petersburg in the year 1899, the movie essentially looks like a winter wonderland. 

The movie follows the young Matvey Polyakov (Fedor Fedotov), a poor lamplighter’s son who makes a living by delivering orders. After he is unjustly fired from his job, he joins a gang of pickpockets to financially support his ill father. While spending time with the pickpockets, he meets the beautiful Alisa Vyazemskaya (Sofya Priss), the daughter of a wealthy Russian minister. Alisa is interested in chemistry and science, but she is held back by the view of the times that women’s primary interests should not be placed on education. Her father is also set on marrying her off to a nobleman, but surprise, surprise, she finds herself falling in love with Matvey. All in all, it’s a basic love story. 

The movie is a melting pot of clichés and tropes; it really is not the movie to go to if you want something deep that moves your heart and soul. The plot, although mildly entertaining and touching at some moments, is not overly mind-blowing. There are two main messages that the movie endorses: first off, women are equal to men in capability and intelligence, and should be allowed to pursue higher education if they wish; secondly, powerful forces like love can transcend social classes and wealth. Although these messages are inarguably touching, it’s no secret that there have been hundreds and thousands of movies that communicate this exact point.

Therefore, I would perhaps even go on to say that the movie is a bit bland due to its overwhelming clichés. This is precisely why I believe that it’s crucial to go into this movie knowing what to expect. I personally believe that the main takeaway point from this movie review is, as I said before, the cinematography. If you’re looking for great cinematography, it’s an excellent movie to sit back and watch because of its snow-covered street markets, splendid outdoor balls, and luxurious palaces of Saint Petersburg. Your eyes will be having a parade and the movie’s scenes are truly a beautiful sight to see. If you are searching for these components in a movie, I highly recommend Silver Skates.