Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka's magical masterpiece in its entirety, inspired by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin's poem of a Russian tale. An evil sorcerer Chernomor casts a spell over wedding ... See full summary »
Ruslan and Ludmilla's (not to be confused with the great Glinka opera of the same name) only downsides are some dialogue that feels on the contrived side and the final twenty-five minutes or so, with its grotesquely violent nature and the villains disappearing and being forgotten it suddenly feels like a completely different film. This is only one part of the film though, the rest is absolutely magical and close to perfect. It looks wonderful, from the ice gardens to the Russian palaces the settings are very handsomely mounted while the colours are bright and the costumes evocatively beautiful. The special effects are fine on the whole(weird at times but in a wonderful way), appropriate for the genre and when the film was made, likewise with the make-up, while the film is beautifully shot also. The music positively sweeps in authentic Russian folk song flavour and rousing grandeur, while there is enough wit and charm in the dialogue to make up for those contrived moments and the battle sequences are on the whole vividly choreographed(the one in the final twenty-five minutes was the only notable exception). The story is very Russian and very-fairy-tale-like, it is one of those stories that sucks you in and never lets go, and it's told to thrilling effect while never losing the fantastical element of it. The characters are equally colourful, and while a little stagy the actors are noble and very into their roles, especially Natalya Petrova's spunky Ludmilla. All in all, magical and will enthral audiences whatever age. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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