A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, ... See full summary »
BBC production of 'Sergei Prokofiev (I)''s opera "War and Peace" performed by the Kirov Opera under the baton of Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Russia. The love story of young Countess ... See full summary »
The thrilling drama based on the world's greatest masterpiece by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Half-sane Prince Myshkin returns from Swiss psycho-clinic to face the glamorous world of St Petersburg. ... See full summary »
A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, high-society fickle young woman loves and her years of unhappiness. A Count illegitimate, idler son reflects on politics and friendship. Experiences his first and hopeless love, is forced into a marriage with serious consequences and finally survives Napoleon invasion of Moscow and its aftermath. Written by
I have to say that I watched this movie because of my love for Russian history and for Tolstoy. I was entertained yet, disappointed as well.
This series is based on the classic epic novel by Tolstoy and is a massive undertaking for any film company and this is a pretty good adaption. It tells the love story of several young aristocrats set against Napoleon's invasion of Russia in approximately 1812. There are a few war scenes, not many, but enough to know what is going on. While filmed in St Petersburg we don't get to see much of it due to it's limited budget I imagine. The focus is on the main protagonists and their relationships.
My main problem was with the casting of some of the leads. This was truly a multi European cast of actors coming from all over Europe, including Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, with some Brits thrown in as well.
First of all, Clemence Poesy as Natasha wasn't believable to me. A young lady from an aristocratic family raised in the French style would carry herself much differently. Here she seems childish, bratty, and not especially beautiful, which she isn't in the book, but still she must show something that would attract as much passion as we are suppose to believe she does here. She certainly doesn't come close to the elegance and beauty of a young Audrey Hepburn in the 50's version.
The characters of Andrej and Pierre (Alessio Boni and Alexander Beyer) seem very unemotional and stiff, especially Boni who doesn't seem at all passionate. This may be due to the fact that while they spoke English in it-you could tell from reading their lips-their voices were dubbed by British people more than likely due to their heavy Italian and German accents, Bonni being Italian and Beyer German. I have seen Boni before and he is a fine actor when allowed to speak for himself.
The rest of the cast is good, with some fine older character actors included; Malcolm McDowell and Brenda Blethyn are marvelous. All of the actors are well known in their respective countries and some have made American or British movies before so they are recognizable to me. I loved the Russian general, Kutuzov, played so well by Dmitri Isayev, a fine character actor.
The screen play seems written with the thought that the film will be dubbed and subtitles shown in many countries (I watched the Spanish subtitled version). The sentences are kept short to allow time for the viewers to read the captions; I find this very annoying. Not all the actors are dubbed; some actor's voices were used, accents and all.
I love the story of War and Peace, so I watched the entire thing anyway and suggest you do the same if it is a favorite of yours. So far, I haven't seen a version I really love so I will have to make do with what we have so far. I prefer this version to the badly cast American version of the 1950's. Only Hepburn did a fairly good job in that film, possibly because she was born into a European aristrocaratic family and knew how a young woman would act. It did have a better screen play, in my opinion.
To dub or notto dub? I prefer subtitles, added after the fact. Amricans, in general, do not like dubbing which is probably the reason it was never released here in the States, but many European countries use it a lot, although I hear that is changing.
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