With the onset of "perestroika", serious social problems were manifesting more and more. What we could laugh at in the past decades ceases to be funny in the 80s. Bureaucracy, poverty, outdated Soviet slogans and communist ideology which no one believes in, the dominance of officials who solve insignificant issues instead of the real problems, the inability to properly arrange life because of the nepotism existing in all spheres of society lead people to despair and sometimes even to cruelty.
The whole movie is about choosing four people who will have to abandon their garage. The management (Valentin Gaft, Iya Savvina) decides to take the garage away from the most defenseless members of the cooperative. One of them, for example, is a war veteran who modestly hides this fact of his biography. As usual, crony people, Market Director Alla Kushakova (Anastasia Voznesenskaya) and Miloserdov (Igor Kostolevsky), whose father supports building garages, are not even discussed as candidates for deprivation of the garage.
Here a real popular revolt breaks out. All the aggrieved characters begin to resist the decision of the management. Of course, there are those who actively support the management. However, not everyone does it sincerely. For example, one of the characters, the primatologist Karpukhin (Vyacheslav Nevinny), declares that he will vote for anything if only he is allowed to go home, and then he says that society and discipline are based on people like him. There are also passive members of the cooperative who don't even take part in the discussion. For example, the head of the department of insects (Eldar Ryazanov himself) sleeping at a stuffed hippo throughout the whole movie. This opinion difference turns into real aggression when the characters start fighting and trampling each other like wild animals. Here you understand that the location of the zoological institute was not chosen by chance.
The mood of the film is almost revolutionary. And, in principle, this cooperative resembles the electorate of our country where the confrontation between those who are "for" and those who are "against" has been sharply outlined for many years. For example, in one of the episodes supporters of the leadership's opinion and those who disagree with the official position line up opposite each other, armed with militant views. If it wasn't for junior scientific associate Elena Malayeva (Liya Akhedzhakova), it could have ended badly. Elena took matters into her own hands and locked up the cooperative members in order to restore justice and achieve fair voting. So, an uncomplicated film about the division of the garage turns into a harbinger of fundamental democratic changes.