Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre... See full summary »
The story about a very small god-forgotten village in Siberia reflects the history of Russia from the beginning of the century till early 80s. Three generations try to find the land of ... See full summary »
St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' ... See full summary »
Early in the 20th century, family and friends gather at the country estate of a general's widow, Anna Petrovna. Sofia, the new wife of Anna's step-son, recognizes Misha, the brother-in-law ... See full summary »
Young Siberian writer Volodya meets Kolya in the Moscow metro in his visit to a famous author. Volodya and Kolya's friend Sasha adventure their love interests in their own way, while Kolya sets out to help them.
So many good directors began their careers as actors. It's the last thing you'd expect. Bondarchuk, like surprisingly many other actors, knows how to handle a wide screen, how to enchant his images, how to keep seemingly mundane footage alive; he can handle everything from soliloquies to mammoth battle scenes; and he ALMOST manages to put it all together into a perfectly constructed seven-hour epic. Alas, not quite. Instalments three and four (three especially) have the air of having been made in the editing suite, after the director had failed to assemble all the shots he needed. But instalments one and two are perfect. Of the two, Part One is the more breathtaking ... not that there's anything wrong with Part Two, but its scope is narrower: it's heavily pre-occupied with its title character (Natasha), and the "war" part of the story is lost even as a backdrop.
The "war" scenes in Part One are the best in the whole four-part movie, by a long shot - mainly because they have a point. The scenes of Russia away from the front are all implicitly related to the war (and, by some magical means - it's all in Tolstoy, and I don't understand how it works there, either - to each other), and when we see the actual war, crystallised in a single battle, Bondarchuk (as Tolstoy was doing in the early parts of the book) is trying to convey something other than mere chaos.
Watch the whole four-part film. It's amazing. But almost all of the secret of its success is contained within Part One.
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