Ivan’s dreams

In the book the main character, Ivan, has several dreams, however in the film none of them are shown. In one of his dreams he imagines himself a conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa who has just explored a new ocean. Ivan dreams about the significance of his presence in this world. He wants to do something great and valuable instead of just wasting time. Almost all of his dreams in the book are about him doing something extraordinary and being famous.

In another one of his dreams Ivan imagines himself as a gladiator who has just defeated a lion. The great Caesar himself is giving him freedom, the whole Coliseum is amazed, but Ivan doesn’t care about all this. He sees a proud patrician girl sitting in the 6th row, who is throwing a bouquet of flowers to him. Ivan recognizes her, this is Katya.

A dream that was also not included in the film was about Ivan’s success and fame. In his dream he was giving an interview after he had won a Grand Prix in Cannes, the Golden Disk in San Remo and a Nobel prize. Joseph Lorence said that his contribution to science is nothing compared to that of Ivan. In his dream a reporter who was looking like Katya asked Ivan if he was married. This dream about the great deeds of Ivan was shown neither in the final version of the movie, nor in the book “Courier”, but it was in one of the scripts.

Ivan saw this complicated and mixed dream when he was intoxicated after drinking the perfume at Katya’s friend’s party. He saw a golden dragon with blue eyes. His neighbour Nekiforov in a smoking but without a hat and even without a head. The tram in which he was riding is in unfamiliar city. In the tram there were four women in roman togas, who were holding golden cages on their knees with red cats in the cages. Women and cats were curiously watching Ivan. The tram driver often ran out of his cabin and screamed with a scary voice “I asked you not to mew!” — although nobody was mewing. Being astonished of these accusations the cats could only throw their paws to the sides, while the roman women silently threw the cages into a window. But once the tram driver disappeared, the cages appeared back on the knees of the women. This was happening until professor Kuznetsov came. He said “I’m asking everyone to stand up. Director of the main committee is coming”. But this was already not in a tram, but in the editorial office where Ivan worked. There his supervisor Makarov told him to go to professor Kuznetsov. Ivan responded that Kuznetsov is standing right here and pointed at him. But Makarov told, even without looking, that it was not him, but a shadow of a door handle. Ivan immediately believed it and took professor like a door handle and the door actually opened. Ivan was on a staircase holding a trashcan with some old shoes and a piece of Swedish soap. Why Swedish he didn’t know, it didn’t say on it. He went to the chute, but suddenly it felt as if something hit his back. Ivan turned around and saw Vorobyov who opened a door of the apartment next door. He was smiling and looking at Ivan through a tiny slit. A branch of lilac was growing from his head and huge yellow fangs were sticking out from his mouth. He winked him and shut the door. But the door turned out to be crystal and shattered in pieces. Behind it there was a bronze bust of Ivan’s father, who said “How are you, old boy?”, Ivan replied “I’m alright, dad”.

In the movie only the very last part of the dream was shown, starting from the bronze bust. We were not trying to make sense of this dream since it was just an evidence of Ivan’s heavy intoxication.