Zhenya Lukashin

Zhenya Lukashin

Character from the film Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!
Country: Russia

Biography of Zhenya Lukashin

Zhenya Lukashin, also known as Zhena, is a character and the main protagonist of the legendary Soviet film "The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!" The film was released on January 1, 1976, and has been a mandatory and indispensable "New Year's film" in every household for almost forty years.

Zhenya Lukashin

Lukashin is brilliantly portrayed by the Russian actor Andrey Myagkov. The film is directed by the famous duo Eldar Ryazanov and Emile Braginsky, and features other stars such as Barbara Brylska, Yuri Yakovlev, Alexander Shirvindt, and a whole host of other talented Russian actors.

Zhenya Lukashin

In the film, Zhenya Lukashin plans to celebrate New Year's Eve with his fiancée Galya (played by Olga Naumenko) and, as usual, they and their friends go to the bathhouse. However, whether it was because the bath was too hot that evening or because they had drunk too much, Zhenya never makes it home for New Year's.

Zhenya Lukashin

Drunk and unaware, Zhenya, along with his friends Pavlik (Alexander Shirvindt), Misha (Georgy Burkov), and Sasha (Alexander Belyavsky), head to the airport, where Pavlik is supposed to fly to Leningrad. But due to a twist of fate, it is Zhenya who ends up on the plane, too drunk to realize what has happened. He wakes up at Pulkovo Airport and, still hitchhiking, tells the taxi driver his Moscow address: 25 Builders Street, Apartment 12.

Zhenya Lukashin

The taxi takes him to the specified address, and to everyone's surprise, the keys to Zhenya's Moscow apartment fit perfectly into the door of a stranger's Leningrad apartment. Oblivious to the mix-up, Zhenya fails to notice any differences because his own home is equally messy and furnished with the same typical Soviet furniture, likely manufactured in the same factory. All he wants is to reach the couch and fall asleep. However, the hostess of the apartment, the cold and beautiful Nadezhda Sheveleva (played by Barbara Brylska), is horrified to find a strange man in her home.

She is not interested in an uninvited guest, especially one who would not be liked by her fiancé, Ippolit (played by Yuri Yakovlev). Furthermore, Nadezhda needs to figure out what is going on. She tries everything to wake up the intruder, who is stubbornly resisting, convinced that the audacious woman is trying to kick him out of his own home.

The situation seems hopeless as their addresses match perfectly, and no one suspects that Zhenya has somehow ended up in the wrong city. As New Year's Eve approaches, after showing their passports with registration, the truth finally comes out, and Zhenya decides to leave. By then, they have already experienced a scene of jealousy when Nadezhda's fiancé, Ippolit, arrives, and Zhenya rightfully leaves Nadezhda's Leningrad apartment.

Waiting for him at home in Moscow is his fiancée Galya, but unfortunately, he does not have enough money for a ticket. Freezing and making a vow to drink less (many remember the scene where Myagkov jumps up and down, repeating the mantra, "I must drink less! I need to drink less!"), Zhenya finds himself again at Nadezhda's door, this time to ask for money to borrow for a ticket. This time, Ippolit cannot bear it and leaves.

Meanwhile, Zhenya and Nadezhda are becoming more attracted to each other, and when Zhenya enters the apartment only to make a phone call home and ask for money, he ends up celebrating New Year's Eve with Nadezhda. A romance blossoms right before the eyes of the viewers, and despite spending New Year's Eve in bitter thoughts, a phone argument with his Moscow fiancée, and a somewhat hostile atmosphere in the house, they are drawn to each other.

At some point, Nadezhda's friends arrive – her colleagues – and to avoid embarrassment, Nadezhda introduces Zhenya as her fiancé, Ippolit. Amidst the festive atmosphere, Nadezhda's enthusiastic friends shout, "Bitter!" to the newly engaged couple.

After the guests leave, Nadezhda and Zhenya cease to be enemies, and their conversation becomes intimate and friendly. But there is still much ahead – an argument, a fight with the returning Ippolit, and then a trip to the airport. At one point, Zhenya even thinks he will never see Nadezhda again, whom he secretly loves. However, this film wouldn't be a "New Year's fairy tale for adults" if love didn't conquer all.

Nadezhda finds Zhenya in Moscow, and she knows his address very well – 25 Builders Street, Apartment 12. This time, they no longer need to pretend – their feelings for each other are clear and mutual.

The film quickly became a favorite among the people as soon as it hit the screens. Its success was overwhelming – kind, mature, intelligent, and touching, with beautiful songs – it became an instant favorite. "The Irony of Fate" became a cult film, breaking all box office records. Not a single New Year's in any Soviet home passed without this film, and over time, it became firmly associated with New Year celebrations. Lines from the film such as "Not everyone can celebrate New Year's tomorrow" and "Your jellied fish is disgusting!" became well-known quotes, while songs like "On Tikhoretskaya," "Nobody Will Be Home," and "I Asked an Ash Tree" resonated throughout the country.

In general, "The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!" is a timeless film that, as many admit, can be watched for a lifetime, but definitely during New Year's!