This clear brilliant should be used as a measure for acting. The cast, script, atmosphere, music, everything is so flawless because...because there is no philosopher's stone method that turns any actor into a good actor. There is talent - this film is a full, bright, shining example of talent. Talents of actors, the director, virtually everyone who put work into this movie. This is why everything seems so easy and natural, why the jokes fly in exactly the right moments, why the words, music and lights captivates you.
The movie is a comedy. It's Latvian comedy - intuitive, light, elegant to it's utmost. But putting it on the same shelf as say "Beethoven" is an insult, however one might like the latter. "Beethoven" is bright plastic, "Theater" is gold.
Don't try to recognize the Moem's book in the film, the novel has been used only as a thread to follow. The style of directing is very interesting and yes - theatrical. The director (the real director actually) appears behind the camera in black top hat and white gloves and talks straight to the main character from behind the screen while the action goes on, he is seen only by Julia. Julia Lambert, the great actress is shown acting her life.
___SPOILERS___________ Excellent example of the style of the movie is a moment when Julia wants to get her young lover back and pretends to be sick so he would be ashamed of himself for leaving. She sits at the mirror putting on the makeup of a tragic character she has played. She says to the director that is watching it - "I'm going to make him sorry for what he said !". She lies down on a sofa as if she's going to die. Director exclaims "Exellent ! Light ! Camera ! Action !". The light go dim, the young man runs into the room and the whole scene of begging and forgiving is played out.
Music is immensely atmospheric, the "harpsicord" part is played by famous Latvian pianist Raimonds Pauls, who in Latvia is referred to simply as "maestro".
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