By chance I was invited to see a showing of this film with an introduction from the director. This may be why I am willing to offer it the generous scoring of 6 out of 10 rather than something lower, because he was there to explain a bit more the production of his film, his association with Konchalovsky, and the filming locations. As a mostly accurate historical portrayal of Russian novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, it is a spot on piece. The details of his life were offered in such a way to give the audience a feel of the times and mental state of Dostoevsky, who was himself an epileptic. Those who are familiar with Dosteovsky will certainly appreciate the way in which the film discusses his life, while those who come in with little knowledge of the author will have to trust the accuracy of the film (and need not fear doing so). Demoni was filmed in Turin, Italy which the director felt closely resembled St. Petersburg, a city which was indeed partially designed by the Swiss-Italian architect Domenico Trezzini.
This was a clever move from the director, but as a film I still feel that it was nothing particularly special. A biopic of Dostoevsky seemed so strange in Italian, filmed in such a distinctive Italian style. I felt as a film the production was a little cheap and resembled an artistic TV-movie rather than actually standing on its own as an artistic film. Aside from Miki Manojlovic, who plays the grown Dostoevsky, the acting was too over the top for my taste. There was not really a believable spark between any of the actors, relationships were to be assumed rather than felt. The film was certainly not something earth-shattering but that's not to say it isn't watchable. Depends on what you're looking for.
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