In Captain Orekhov, as he was obviously written in the script and how V. Spiridonov plays it, it is easy to make out the outline of the figure of an exemplary officer known in many works - “strict but fair.” The captain is well aware of the seriousness of the possible consequences of the provocation. Once again trying to unsuccessfully break through to the conscience and reason of the saved, he says to one of them: “Do you understand what step you are taking? And if the war begins? That is how wars begin. There is a conflict, a provocation here - you look, and it caught fire! ”And he hears in response:“ There was no need to drown the schooner and take us prisoner. ” We see how the will of the captain forces himself to restrain himself - both in this and in many other cases. Only once and, of course, in an informal conversation, and besides, in an extremely dramatic situation, would he allow himself to say to one of the Chinese: “Oh, dear, with what pleasure I would mark you now!” And he would have “marked” it perfectly, if not for the consciousness of duty and responsibility. In these "dimensions" the image of the captain is quite stereotyped. But the actor plays not only composure, restraint, internal discipline, which went into the blood, became second nature. An attempt is made to play a supporting role: the captain sadly recalls how our and Chinese border guards “went to each other to drink tea”, there were such times ... He understands: before him are ordinary people stupefied with fear, maddened with fear. To the little daughter’s innocent naive question about fishermen: “Dad, are they evil?” - the captain replies: “No, rather, frightened ...”
An elderly fisherman, who at first wrote a truthful explanation about what happened, bewilderedly and pitifully begs the captain to return the document that threatens him with repression. And Orekhov suddenly gives. This is by no means a demonstrative gesture of subtly calculated and balanced generosity, designed to challenge the Chinese in return nobility. Orekhov, a sober man, already understood: it is in vain to appeal to human feelings. Fear of the future suppressed everything human in fishermen. His act is simply generosity, caused by pity, compassion. Of course, the captain understands that with this gesture he does not cause serious damage to the case - the true testimony of only one of the fishermen is hardly worth much if the others continue to adhere to their false version. But he realizes that his act is by no means flawless from the point of view of protocol-disciplinary and, of course, will not be, to put it mildly, approved by the authorities. In any case, the long-awaited and promised transfer to the mainland captain is unlikely to be realized. These psychological overtones of sadness, bitterness, this act prompted by the heart, as if it were completely uncharacteristic of this restrained, purposeful nature, by all signs accustomed to strict observance of the letter of the charter, create the “chiaroscuro” that makes the image lively, voluminous.
According to a similar model, two other equally traditional images are fashioned - midshipman Batishchev and sailor Pryakhpia. Batishchev (B. Smorchkov) is a type of junior commander who has seen a lot, experienced, meticulously strict not so much by nature as by habit - “for order”, but sincere and good-natured.
Remaining, in principle, within the framework of this well-known scheme, the authors of the film and Batishchev give an act that does not fit into this scheme. It is he who, phlegmatically calm, balanced, confidentially and intimately conversing with the fishermen (of course, before the provocation begins), throws himself into an unstoppable rage at the unbridled boy fisherman, when he, with a clearly provocative goal, begins to hysterically, frantically chant anti-Soviet Maoist slogans, not at all embarrassed by the fact that nearby. the sailors are scribbling the coffin of Pryakhin, the deceased, saving them, the Chinese. The foreman’s act, of course, is both reckless and harmful. After all, it was precisely this reaction that the provocateur sought, now pleased that the Russian midshipman tore his shirt. Batishchev explains to the captain the reason for his unexpected breakdown: he remembered how, during the time of military service on the Amur, the raging crowd on the other side of the border also chanted slogans, and then tore apart, kicked one of his own, who, it seemed to them, wanted to cross to our side. He remembered - and could not stand the nerves, broke. casino minsta insättning