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Douglas is a foreign entrepreneur, who ventures to Russia in 1885 with dreams of selling a new, experimental steam-driven timber harvester in the wilds of Siberia. Jane is his assistant, who falls in love with a young Russian officer, André, and spends the next 10 years perfecting the harvester and pursuing her love, who has been exiled to Siberia. Written by
In its extended version -where the characters are fully developed and the relationships between them fully explored- this movie is incredible. Not just because Oleg Menshikov is a fabulous actor and Julia Ormond does some of the best acting I've seen her do, but because the plot is interesting and well written and the filming is beautiful.
In the butchered and censored short version crucial elements of the story are missing (especially the complete dialogues between Andrei and Jane and the majority of their scene in bed) and the movie is OK but nothing special.
Why would the studio even release such a lame version? Can you imagine a two hour version of Gone with the Wind? Or a 90 minute version of Titanic?
I saw the full 4 and ½ hours extended film in a cinema and no one walked out because it was too long. I saw the short version on the Cosmo channel and I really don't understand why the producers would stab themselves in the back by releasing a watered down and lacking version presumably for audiences with short attention spans?- but I recommend avoiding the 3 hours one and holding out for the real film.
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