In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. ...
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In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. While they move back to the Russian territory through the countryside, the soldiers show their companionship, sentiments, fears and heroism to defend their motherland. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bondarchuk's big world war 2 film has some excellent scenery (as usual) and is mesmerizingly polished from a pyrotechnic standpoint. The two big battle scenes have lots of cool explosions and mock-up Panzer IV's, but lack focus, drama, and realism. The German soldiers don't seem like they're terribly motivated or even trying that hard. The first battle scene is particularly disappointing in this way - with the German tanks blowing up easily after only one AT rifle shot and the Germans too quick to retreat time and time again. Meanwhile the good Russian freedom fighters take no casualties.
Halfway through, the film has a huge battle scene featuring the complete annihilation of a town including a really cool plane crash and explosion. For the next 10 minutes or so the film does no wrong - Bondarchuk himself has a great role as a shell-shocked soldier who bayonet-charges some Germans while artillery goes off everywhere around him. Really cool! The problem is, after that point it's all downhill from there and there's a whole 'nother hour left! This last hour really drags on without much action - just a bunch of boring chit chat.
Also, one of the cameras used in the wide battle shots has the dirtiest lens I have ever seen used in a big-budget film. It's totally distracting and ruins what would have been a couple classic battle scenes. What happened?
5 of 46 people found this review helpful.
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