The television miniseries version of the feature film 'Admiral'
This TV miniseries (10 series in total) is the extended version of the two hour long feature film 'Admiral'. While the shorter theatrical version of 'Admiral' centers primarily on the love story between Admiral Kolchak and Anna Timireva, the miniseries is a much more expanded look at the Russian leader's life and struggles during the Russian civil war. Indeed, the theatrical version of this film suffers from being almost too fast paced, because of the need to condense the storyline. Seeing the miniseries puts everything in balance.
'Admiral' is a first in that it moves counter to the trend of Soviet era films, which had a clear political agenda especially when discussing revolutionary history. It also doesn't present the events merely from the side, as with Boris Pasternak's 'Doctor Zhivago'. 'Admiral' puts the viewer right into the seat of the anti-bolshevik movement, offering a realistic, historically respectful perspective of the events of the day. Kolchak is portrayed in a balanced manner as a man who was led by vision, honor, and patriotism, and also as one with a complex human side - torn between loyalty to family, and his passion for Timireva.
Excellent performances are accompanied by quality cinematography, well paced editing, tasteful music, realistic costumes, and rich locations from Siberia to Paris. The battle scenes are realistic while being devoid of Hollywoodisms.
Two points of critique: even though this miniseries manages to cover a lot of territory, it lacks the more laid back pacing of the Soviet era miniseries, such as the 17 Moments of Spring, which allowed more time to absorb scenes. The second critique is that Boyarskaya's portrayal of Timireva while satisfactory is somewhat lacking in depth at times; the substance of the relationship is not sufficiently explored despite the screen time allocated to it. Outside of that, quite a milestone for Russian television and a must see for Russian cinema aficionados and history buffs, if you can find a subtitled version of it...
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