By the way, until 1987, Weiners was screened more than once, but these tapes did not achieve much success. The same “Visit to the Minotaur” back in 1974 was adopted by Georgian filmmakers - the film was called “Night Visit”. And the famous story “The Medicine Against Fear” was turned into a feature film at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio in 1978, but also not very successfully. When there was an unexpected surge of interest in the work of fellow writers, on Soviet television, it was decided to rethink the book, bring the script to mind and try to enter this river twice.
... Having woken up on the sobering-up bed, the police captain Pozdnyakov quickly realized that the evening had ceased to be languid. Vaguely recalling two strangers and an unfinished bottle of beer, he told the authorities that he had lost the symbols of power entrusted to him by the people - red crusts and a service weapon. Zaaranuyu honor officer's uniform instructed to clean the experienced investigator criminals Muromtseva, who did not want to punish their own, albeit according to conscience.
However, Muromtsev was lucky: a chemical examination of a cork found in the pocket of the robbed Pozdnyakov found that the policeman had been poisoned with a potent tranquilizer. And such, whom and in the nature does not exist. An experimental cure for fear, called metaproptizol, is under development and officially considered an “artifact.”
In the meantime, the captain's ID pops up in the crime chronicle. Two of the “jackets”, posing as employees of the OBKhSS and presenting a fake search warrant, are carefully withdrawn from the citizen of wealth for a wild sum for those times - fifty thousand rubles. Muromtsev understands that a simple manicurist from a sanatorium cannot afford a mink coat and such a supply of cash in a savings bank. The robbers knew perfectly well where and what was badly lying, and Madame herself turned out to be the fraudster's mistress, who was serving a long time in places not so remote.
Thus, the investigator is forced to look for two gangsters who, under the guise of representatives of the law, robbing their former accomplices, as well as figure out where they got the mysterious drug in their hands, which the leading institutions of the country unsuccessfully search for ...
As expected, the quality of the material suffered in the pursuit of the rating. Let's not forget that the TV movie came out against the background of a full-scale crisis in the USSR, at the break of the perestroika process. In the full-length cinema, a revolution was under way, and weak censorship was quietly squeaking from the pages of Soviet cinema art magazines that were becoming obsolete. “Small faiths”, “intergirls” and “Accidents, cops' daughters” walked across the country's screens. Therefore, the politically correct story had to be urgently “rewritten” for the topic of the day.
Still, Viner’s were shy to radically shovel the script. Nevertheless, the first screen version of their book (1978, director Albert S. Mkrtchyan, co-author of Sannikov Land) looked much more sterile and premode. Being limited to one and a half hours of timekeeping, it focused on the central detective storyline, and there was simply no time left to work on the characters. The new format, repeating the multiseries “Visit to the Minotaur,” allowed him to break the line and transfer to the screen most of the minor details that could complement the picture and give it wholeness. However, instead, the authors joined the camp of the opposition - accusatory overtones were copied from reality with a rough, but certain. The “heroes of their time” appeared in the frame: corrupt police officers releasing criminals on a call from their superiors and acquaintances; scholars, charlatans, ready for fame to go to betrayal, forgery and theft; evil neighbors slanderers; parasites, fartsovshchiki, speculators. Well, except that they managed without fashionable prostitutes, drug addicts and thieves in law.
The format of the mini-series played a cruel joke with the authors: a page-by-page transfer of the literary original destroyed the already missing narrative dynamics. The Visit to the Minotaur was also not distinguished by a hurricane action, but there the situation was rescued by magnificent actors - Sergey Shakurov, Valentin Gaft, Mikhail Pugovkin, Alexander Filippenko and Rostislav Plyatt (for the great actor this production was the last in his life). “The entrance to the maze” in terms of casting is not at all impressive. The best actor in 1986 according to a survey of the magazine “Soviet screen”, Igor Kostolevsky, looks like a whipping boy against Shakurov. He is extremely professional and authentic for the investigator of that era, but for some reason does not cause respect. Neither methods of work, nor human qualities. Kostolevsky frankly missed this image and did not even make an attempt to depict something more on his face than the difficult everyday life of the criminal investigation department.
Confident director's hands in the picture is not felt. Valery Kremnev, for whom this work was the last in his career (he is alive and well, just retired), apparently, did not know which side to approach the project. Affected by the lack of specialized experience, because Kremnev was not previously seen in the detective genre. More and more drama, such as "The Mistress of the orphanage" with Gundareva or even "Jumble". There was a modest criminal confrontational tape with Elena Safonova and Karachentsova, but who saw her on an all-Union scale? Therefore, the "Entrance to the maze" is stuck in the dialogues, close-ups, pauses and voids. Much more suspense brings the musical theme of the composer Edward Artemyev, who just borrowed from the "Visit to the Minotaur." Gloomy chords on the title credits and even any horror movie can envy.
Like its predecessor, the story “Entering the Labyrinth” (by the way, one can only guess about the hidden meaning of the name) is also divided into two temporary epochs. Only, in contrast to the very interesting and informative history of the rise of the violin master Antonio Stradivarius, the life story of the wanderings and tribulations of the medieval physician Paracelsus finally kills every interest in what is happening on the screen. Estonian actor Mikk Mikiver, although outwardly weakly similar to the prototype, played adequately. Nevertheless, the long, occupying up to half of each of the five series, historical inserts, tire and nullify any attempts by the creators to somehow revive the action. As usual, the final part turned out to be the most intense, but you still have to wait for it.
The eighties are over, and the last decade of the Soviet Union has ended with them. In the new, now Russian cinema, its own restructuring began, and many previously sought-after filmmakers, directors, screenwriters and actors found themselves on the sidelines. Weiners also forgotten - “The entrance to the labyrinth” was the last adaptation of their joint work. The paths of the literary brothers diverged. Arkady remained in Moscow, and his brother George moved to New York. Both did not live up to our days: Arkady Weiner died in 2005 and was buried in Moscow, and his younger brother died in 2009 and rests at the Mount Maurios cemetery in Fairview (New Jersey).