Friday, May 31, 2019

[SHORTS REVIEW] Hen, His Wife (1990)


Title: Hen, His Wife

Original Title: Yego zhena kuritsa

Country: Russia

Genre: Horror / Surrealism  / Mystery

Company: Pilot Studio

Directed by: Igor Kovalyov

Year: 1990

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: N/A

Buy on:  Amazon

The story starts off with a man and his wife having a quiet evening together along with their half worm, half human pet, when suddenly the husband's friend comes by for a visit.  The husband's friend then brings the husband a gift of a box full of bugs that he can feed his pet with.  But, then the friend sees that the husband's wife is actually a hen and he whispers this discovery to the husband.  The husband is shocked at this discovery and when he closely inspects his wife, he ended up throwing her out of the house.  After his wife leaves the house, the husband tried to live his life the way it was before. But then he starts missing his wife and he makes a phone call to get his wife back.  When the wife comes back home, she makes a startling discovery about her husband...

Wow!  I have to say that even though I have watched lots of surreal shorts over the years, none of them quite compared to how weird this short was!  It was interesting to see an animated short that is about domestic problems and one that has so much symbolism to it. There are so many different interpretations about what is really going on in this short and what kind of message it's trying to send to the viewers.  So it would be almost impossible for me to describe to you about what I think the ulterior meaning behind this short really is. But, I'm going to give it my best shot and tell you guys what I think that this short is trying to say.

My Interpretation:

So apparently, the couple has been happy together until the husband's friend comes in and tells him that his wife is a hen.  Now, it's quite obvious to the audience that the wife is a hen, so how come the husband didn't notice this until his friend told him?  Did the wife looked way different when she and her husband first met or did the husband just ignore the obvious signs over the years?  So, when the husband finally notices that his wife is a hen, he turns her out of the house.  Maybe the husband was more upset about his wife deceiving him for all of these years and that's why he turned her out because she had betrayed his trust in her.  So, the husband tried to live life the way it was before, but he missed his wife and he starts hallucinating his situation.  It was then that he called her over the phone and begged her to come back to him.  But then the ending comes up and... well, you have to see the ending of this short for yourself!

I just loved the way that Igor Kovaliov weaved this bizarre world as all the characters look so strange, what with the blue colored husband and the humanoid hen wife.  And let's not forget the half human, half worm pet that the couple has!  I also loved the fact that there is so much symbolism and random moments going on in this short as it made the narrative so disoriented yet creative at the same time!

I was a bit thrown off by the mysterious plot of this short.  I wasn't sure what to make of the situation that happened between the couple or the various symbolism that jumped out at you with no warning.  So, there were times where I was a bit confused about what was really going on and I even had to read several different interpretations from other people who have seen this short in order to understand what was really going on in this short.

Overall, "Hen, His Wife" is a great surreal animated short that gives us a more literal description of marriage problems and anyone who loves watching Russian cartoons or just really weird shorts will definitely enjoy this short!

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