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Paul Anthony Stewart
Young and beautiful Lara is loved by three men: a revolutionary, a mogul, and a doctor. Their lives become intertwined with the drama of Russian revolution. Doctor Zhivago is still married when he meets Lara. Their love story is unfolding against the backdrop of revolution which affects the doctor's career, his family, and his love to Lara. Written by
My dear Yury, it feels so strange to be writing this to you, not knowing whether you are dead or alive. Do you know that we have a little daughter? We have christened her Masha, in memory of your mother. Yury, we are being deported. My father has fallen out of favor. I don't know whether they will let you come, too, or if you want to come or even if you are alive. But I must believe you are and hope that you receive this and come to find us one day. God keep you. I must stop. They ...
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I've seen David Lean's version, this version and studied (briefly) the life of Pasternak under the Communists. For some reason I can't find a Russian version of this novel - maybe some predjudice still lingers in the FSU. Of all the characters in this novel, Pasternak's favorite isn't Yuri - it's Lara. Maybe Winston Churchchill wasn't talking so much about Mother Russia as he was about her women (there's a reason they call it the Motherland). Russia is an impenetrable mystery, impossible to summarise in a few words and women such as Lara are very difficult to portray for a non-Russian. So don't be surprised if Keira Knightley doesn't seem to have captured the essence of Lara - in fact, she does quite a competent job, probably because of Julie Christie before her. The one quality that Christie had and which is reflected in Knightley is a quiet acceptance of fate (in Russian "sydba"). It's a quality that is very attractive and also the most irritating aspect of Lara. You want to yell at her to kick Komarovsky between the legs but she just soldiers on. Julie Christie , however, captured Lara in one look in David Lean's movie - when Omar Shariff enjoins her to go with Komarovsky and without a word, she looks back at Omar/Yuri with a wordless plea. Knightley's Lara is more forthright, more self assured and in that respect she is faithful to Pasternak's writing. But Christie - and that one look- will always be Lara to me.
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