Synopsis by Mark Deming
A bizarre wager drives two men to the brink of madness in this Russian drama based in part on a story by Anton Chekhov. Viktor (Viktor Verzhbitsky) is a wealthy and powerful businessman, and Maxim (Vladimir Zherebtsov) is one of his most devoted and ambitious employees. One evening, Viktor invites a number of friends and employees to his mansion for a party, and he suddenly offers an unusual challenge to Maxim. If Maxim can spend fifteen years alone in a guest cottage on Viktor's estate, Viktor will pay him an award of $15 million, but if Maxim leaves before the fifteen years are up, he'll work at no charge for Viktor for the rest of his days. Not wanting to displease Viktor, Maxim agrees to the bet, but the gamble soon brings out the worst in both men -- constant isolation drives Maxim to the edge of madness, while Viktor becomes possessed with his malign desire to win the contest.
businessperson, employee, isolation, madness, mansion, party, wager