Absurd, mystical, almost witching scenes can be a worthwhile sequel to Gogol's tradition. Darkness and horror are combined with warmth, humor, and acute social satire. Characters are trapped in a vicious circle of that kind. Past is reflected not only in the artistic language. The idea of nostalgia, the connection between generations, and repetition is ubiquitous in the movie. Every year comes to New Year and every year everything repeats itself. Every year there's the same play in the theatre of life. This play's name – "Russia". Serebrennikov calls it: "Groundhog Day, groundhog year, groundhog century."
Petrov relives his past. He makes love to a woman he's divorced with, he dreams of his childhood days, he's stuck drawing comics no one but his son sees. He's sick, everyone's sick. Everyone caught a virus of desperacy. How do you move forward? How does the country move forward? Ironically enough, Petrov Junior (Vladislav Semiletkov) gets cured by a pill from 1976. Embracing the past, the history, the ugliness, the Russia seems to work like a vaccine – you get infected to be healthy ever after.