Powerful, whimsical, enchanting-: Russian Fairy Tale at its best
The Tale of Tsar Sultan was a lovely film, one of the loveliest I've seen in a while. It was a great story to begin with, no surprise as it's Pushkin, but to see it unfold on film is quite a different experience. The film looks stunning with wonderfully vivid colours, it is a truly wonderful feeling when you feel like you've literally stepped into a perfectly illustrated picture book. The costumes and sets are just magical, maintaining that fairy-tale feel from beginning to end. The special effects are not the very best(though there are far worse), but fit within the fairy-tale/fantasy atmosphere beautifully. The music is a feast for the ears, it's lushly orchestrated with rousing and whimsical rhythms and has the feel of part dramatic opera(there's even a song that wouldn't have been too out of place in Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko) and part sweeping fantasy, as you'd gather I love that kind of music. The story personifies Pushkin, Russian fairy-tale and fantasy, and in a thrilling and beautiful way. There are times where it is serious(but not too much), but there is also tongue-in-cheek and whimsical poetry, very similar to Ruslan and Ludmilla. All the elements are there, a swan princess, the sight of giant knights rising from the sea, a squirrel cracking gold nuts, ugly sisters and a wicked mother/step-mother figure, and incorporated in a way that will delight kids and adults alike. The characters serve their purpose in the storytelling faultlessly and are convincingly acted. To conclude, a truly lovely film. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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