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In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally, regret. Through his best friend Lensky, Onegin is introduced to the young Tatiana. A passionate and virtuous girl, she soon falls hopelessly under the spell of the aloof newcomer and professes her love for him. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
I have to say that I was a bit hesitant about seeing this film for several reasons. I had read Onegin in the original Russian, and frankly I mistrusted the abilities of a film-maker to convey a true sense of the story and the life and mood of Imperial Russia while also catering to the tastes of modern film audiences. But as a fan of the work of Ralph Fiennes and Toby Stephens, I took the chance on this film, and I am glad that I did. Onegin was fantastic. I have to agree that this film is not for action fans, but everything came together spectacularly in Onegin: the acting, the dialogue, the haunting music, the beautiful cinematography, the subtle timing and angle of each shot in the film. I was, moreover, surprised by the superb acting of Liv Tyler. The high point of the film, with the unveiling of Tatiana's letter and Onegin's growing passion, is well worth the anticipation. Fienne's portrayal of Onegin is realistic, absolutely riveting... He is a man jaded by opulence and overindulgence, trapped in his indolence and boredom, cool and reasoning and underneath it all, absolutely miserable, a man who comes to realize too late what flames of passion burn within him, which he attempts to "beat down with his reason"... His torment creates the most compelling kind of tragedy: the tragedy that compels us to consider what might have been. My rating: 9/10
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