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|Index||75 reviews in total|
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.
I must have an extremely bad taste. Most professional critics have written devastating comments on this film. I just loved it, all 180 minutes of it! Of course, according to the books, you should not mix slapstick and serious drama. Mikhalkov does it and the result completely vindicates him, I feel. Critics should not forget that cinema is about entertainment. Critics blame Mikhalkov because he did not make another high brow artistic film like « Burnt by the sun », but "prostituted" his talent by bowing to the Hollywood taste. I liked both films evenly well, different as they are. Critics say Mikhalkov presented a phony image of old Russia. Of course his billboard image of tsarist Russia is not devoid of clichés and camp, but what a glorious camp it is! Mikhalkov is accused of painting a much too rosy picture of old Russia. But are the Russians (and other people) not entitled to some glimpses of the beautiful Russia that could have been, but somehow never seems able to materialize in this century of gloom ? The critics point out that the film has a lot of formal weaknesses. To the heck with the critics ! The film may not have a very deep message, but I think it illustrates, in a poetic way, the difficulty Russians and Westerners have at understanding each other. Either you love this film, or you d better leave it . When you look at the vote results, you see three quarters of those who voted on this film adore it (scores 8-10), while the others loathe it (scores 1-4). Apparently it is a film you can't be indifferent to.
I've seen this movie a lot of times, and loved it every time. Surely it is not very truthful story from the historical point of view. It also isn't very realistic and probably it wasn't made to be one. Who says that every movie nowdays should be? Sometimes you want to see something more fairy-tale like. Though you should remember, this is not one of those happy ones. From mine point of view the main idea of this movie was to show the emotions of youth in those days in Russia. Friendship, love and honor were the virtues that were truly valued. Every one of those emotions were shown in the best possible way. The things I didn't like in that movie, were the overplayed roles of some characters and too long scenes showing the russian passion for drinking(???). But those shouldn't be that big obstacles for not loving everything else. If you didn't like the story of this film, you should watch it at least because of the incredible performance of the russian actor Oleg Menshikov, which dimmes everyone else appearance, even the fabulous Julia Ormond. He plays with such passion that even the fact that he plays much more younger character than himself is not noticeable. I think that everyone who is looking for real emotions on screen, should give this movie a chance, and maybe in the end you will be suprised how much you really enjoyed it.
I went to see this movie based on a suggestion from a good friend of mine. I
expected to see a typical love story and was curious about the way this
story was developed and directed. I admit that my expectations were very low
in this regard. The Barber of Siberia is a work of art, Mikhalkov is surely
one of the great movie authors of all times, and I am humbly thankful to my
friend for her priceless advice.
The plot may seem like any conventional love story but the fashion in which the story is developed and the performances of all the actors (yes, ALL of them) is really fascinating.
What strikes you most is when Mikhalkov directly compares the life of a military cadet between Russia and the US. There's also a latent comparison between the American and Russian ideals. I leave it to you to discover how and when these comparisons appear on screen.
Mikhalkov magnificently plays the role of the Tzar Alexander III (the father of the recently canonized Tzar Nicholas II). As portrayed by Mikhalkov, Alexander III embodies the grandeur of Russia and sets the standard on the qualities of a ruler. You cannot but compare these standards to those set by Boris Yeltsin (who was in charge in 1998) and you would better understand the passing of power to Putin.
This is one of the rare times I get emotional about a film, and believe me the Barber of Siberia contains a lot of emotions. DON'T MISS IT AT ANY RATE!
Even if most of the reviews were devastating I decided to go and see the most expensive and discussed Russian movie. And the truth is that I enjoyed every minute of it. For me absolutely the best movie of the year. For a long time no movie impressed me like this one. You can find everything in it - passion, desire, fight, love and hate, tiers...Watching some scenes you laugh and others you cry. Excellent actor performances and a beautiful music make the movie unforgettable. So forget everything you have heard or read about and better go and see it with our own eyes.
I must have an extremely bad taste. Most professional critics have written
devastating comments on this movie. I just loved it, all 180 minutes of it!
Of course, according to the rules, you should not mix slapstick and serious
drama. Mikhalkov does it and the result completely vindicates him, I feel.
Critics should not forget that cinema is about entertainment. They blame
Mikhalkov because he did not make another high brow artistic movie like «
Burnt by the sun ». I liked both movies equally well, different as they
Critics say Mikhalkov presented a phony image of old Russia. Of course, his
billboard image of tsarist Russia is not devoid of clichés and camp, but
what a glorious camp it is! Mikhalkov is accused of painting a much too
picture of old Russia. But are the Russians (and other people) not entitled
to some glimpses of the beautiful Russia that could have been, but somehow
never seems able to materialize in this century of gloom ? The critics
out that the movie has a lot of formal weaknesses. To the heck with the
This movie may not have a very deep message, but I think it illustrates, in
a poetic way, the difficulty Russians and Westerners have at understanding
Either you love this movie, or you d better leave it . When you look at
viewer voting results, you see that three quarters of those who voted on
this movie adore it (scores 8-10), while the others loathe it (scores 1-4).
Apparently it is a movie you can't be indifferent about.
Most of the critics are saying bad things about this movie,
but all of my friends who have seen it are saying that it was really good.
started to like Nikita Mihalkov, when I saw his film 'Burnt by the Sun'.
This film is quite different, but very good too. The film lasts almost 3
hours, but you won't lose your attention until the end. Actors are good,
even I had some problems with J. Ormond's acting at some places. Alexei
Petrenko and Oleg Menshikov are the best. As we see Oleg, we can
him that he is really a man in his twenties(although we know he is not) and
it's not because his make-up. The director of photography has done a good
I'd recommend this film to anyone, who likes movies with great pictures,
cast, and who likes Nikita Mihalkov. You don't have to be a romantic type
"The Barber of Siberia" was actually the first Russian movie shot during the past 8 years which made me proud that I am Russian. After the stream of low-rated films about mafia, prostitution and 'hard life', most of which were brilliantly void of any thought or idea, "The Barber" managed to persuade me that not everyhing's lost for Russia yet.
I stumbled on this film one night on TV. I hadn't heard of it, but I
got intrigued immediately. It was the long version, so it got quite
I didn't regret that one bit. It has a nice story thats seems to fit if you're willing to go along with it (one can always find a stick to beat the dog). It has witty, funny dialogs. Although it is a romantic story, it does not have the crappy all's well that ends well feel.
The 2 main characters are very well developed (in the version I saw), they are not clear cut, one dimensional. It is true that some other characters are bordering on the slapstick, but I feel this is not overdone. Somehow it balances really well.
Need I say more? Excellent entertainment (in my humble opinion).
This is not Mikhalkov's best film. Yet a Mikhalkov film is one that presents
a story with a twinkle in the eye. His films come very near to the black
comedy genre. Take his swipe at the average American not understanding
Mozart's music--if it is taken literally, it will cloud the Mikhalkov
perspective of life through cinema. That perspective is poles apart from the
filmmaking of his half brother Andrei Mikhalkov Konchalovsky, who is serious
and quite a bit of a perfectionist (he worked with Andrei Tarkovsky on his
earlier movies), e.g. "Runaway Train" and "Shy People" made in Hollywood or
"Siberiade" made in the former USSR.
Mikhalkov makes serious scenes seem light and a lark: the deportation to Siberia marked with opera singing; the dangerous duel that ends with a hero lying wounded in a Quixotic manner; a very tall Czar Alexander (the director) who puts down his queen with a most 'unroyal' remark. Mikhalkov and his half brother are great visualizers and have good ears for music--which is why the film is a treat to watch--natural splendors of Siberia, recreating a "Dr Zhivago" milieu with more authenticity than Mr Lean (who did a great job considering he could not shoot his film in the USSR).
I am a great admirer of good Russian cinema: especially the works of Tarkovsky, Kozintsev, Eisenstein, Konchalovsky, Talankin in that order. Mikhalkov is not the best but all his films are worth a view. But I have one suggestion--never take his films as what appears for there is a layer underneath the obvious--that needs to be seen tongue in cheek. And unlike Konchalovsky--the quality of direction is never consistent in Mikhalkov's works--it varies from the brilliant to the almost stupid.
But Mr Mikhalkov, what a pathetic waste of Richard Harris' talent to merely advertise his name in the credits for an insignificant role in a long movie...
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