“Mimino”, which in Georgian means “falcon” - did not immediately make its way to universal recognition. "Total" 24.4 million viewers watched the film in the first year after the release of the country's screens. It would seem that the picture fades in front of the recently released Afonya (1976), the leader of rentals, which was watched by 62.2 million people, but gradually national love nevertheless overtook Mimino. According to the memoirs of Danelia - he wanted to make a light comedy after the sharply social “Afoni” and at the beginning he, together with longtime co-author Victoria Tokareva, invented an unobtrusive scenario about a village girl and a pilot who wrote poems and played the trumpet. But his friend, the writer Maksud Ibragimbekov, once dissuaded from this idea and offered to turn to the story he once told him: “I immediately realized that it could make a very touching comedy. Much more interesting than a film about a girl and a pilot. ”
The story was real, about a rural pilot who once, after a flight, tied his helicopter to a tree. After a sleepless night, Georgiy Danelia decided in favor of the option with a rural pilot. The script was partially written down by three in the course of the shooting: a long-time friend of director Rezo Gabriadze joined Danelia and Tokareva and rushed to the call of a friend from Tbilisi. The main role of the pilot, Valiko Mizandari, was approved in advance by Vakhtang Kikabidze, the prototype of the protagonist was taken from life - it was sculptor Valerian Mizandari, teacher Rezo Gabriadze (together they didn’t take it easy), who lived in Kutaisi.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan made an indisputable contribution to the process of filming - he invented most of his replicas and greatly influenced the filming process, especially at the beginning when he was not allowed to go to theater affairs in Yerevan and had to shoot all the scenes without his participation. Most of the phrases from the famous episode in the courtroom Mkrtchan invented, as they say, on the go. He improvised so skillfully that his quotes later not only entered the film unchanged. Since the field shooting took place mainly in the center of Moscow, in the thirty-degree frost, Danelia often invited Bubu (Vakhtang Kikabidze) and Frunzik to his home for family dinners. And during these dinners, Frunzik often thought out his own catchphrase, which later entered the film.
The film largely reflects the diverse Caucasian flavor - it’s not by chance that the Georgian and Armenian meet the script, the director subtly notes the long-standing friendly rivalry between some and others, which is worth at least an episode in the restaurant (“Russia”) when Valiko asks the musicians to play “Where are you Suliko ”, and Rubik (Frunzik Mkrtchyan) orders an Armenian folk song in response, and then they start dancing to the general approval of the public. The story of the court finally rallied them and made close friends, despite all the vicissitudes of life. The brilliant acting duet of Vakhtang Kikabidze (Valiko) and Frunzik Mkrtchyan (Rubik) became native for many in our country, despite the fact that the main characters are Georgian and Armenian. Georgia and Armenia at that time were neighboring republics of one large country where people were not asked for a passport at every step, suspecting that they were crossing the border illegally. The story of Valiko and Rubik is a true embodiment of the friendship of nations not on paper, but in real life, where, at times, there is no place for such pure and in some way noble images as they are. Rubik's famous phrase: "When he will be pleased, I will feel that I am also pleased ... when I will be pleased, I will take it so ... that you too ... will be ... pleased ..." - only confirms this assumption.
The peculiarities of the film include the fact that famous Soviet actors played in many minor roles: Evgeny Leonov, Leonid Kuravlev, Savely Kramarov, Archil Gomiashvili and others. Leonid Kuravlev played a very small role as an endocrinologist Khachikian, and Yevgeny Leonov got a separate role as a front-line comrade of the late father Valiko, which Danelia wrote specifically for him.
By the way, the censorship did not bypass “Mimino” by side - some scenes were cut out after the screen was released, for example, an episode with Savelia Kramarova. The fact is that the actor was forced to emigrate from the country and already some time after the release of the picture, the frames with his participation were cut out. And with the coming to power of Gorbachev with his anti-alcohol campaign, I had to cut out the scene in a restaurant, although it was later restored, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Behind the comedic facade of the film, not every viewer can see a wise philosophical parable in which the director gives his character the right to choose: to stay in big aviation, to fulfill his old dream or to return home to Telavi - to relatives, friends, and a helicopter tied to the ground. The circumstances in which Valiko finds himself gradually lead him to thoughts about the house. The elusive “Larisa Ivanovna” and aviation soon disappoint the protagonist as non-permanent values and he returns to his native village, where he finally finds his once rejected happiness. And in that leisurely life, a small helicopter gives it much more freedom than an airliner plying between Moscow and Berlin.