One of the more faithful adaptations of the book, but still disappointing
The book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic, a little episodic but very charming and fun with some thrilling moments too. Adaptation-wise this Soviet version is along with the 1938 film one of the most faithful adaptations, which people will appreciate. The costumes and sets are lovely, the treasure hunt and cave scenes do have a sense of intensity, there is some great photography and the performances of Tom and Huck are suitably spirited. Where this version is let down especially is in the dubbing, which is quite frankly horrendous(not used this phrase in a long time), the sloppy lip-synching where the sound rarely matches the movements of the lip movements and too many moments of scrappy and abrupt editing(apart this version had some truncations and it actually shows here). The storytelling is not without its bright spots but suffers also from bad pacing and perhaps from at times being too faithful to the book. The crucial scenes are there, sadly the impact with some of it are not, with some scenes- especially the fence painting scene- feeling too drawn out and too long. The pacing often feels too ponderous, which saps the charm and intrigue out of the storytelling, it's not completely devoid of them but they're not done well enough. While the two boys are not too bad some of the other actors are rather expressionless and stone-faced. In conclusion, interesting but could have been much better, one instance where being faithful doesn't immediately equal a great adaptation. The faithfulness is to be recommended(though any adaptation should be judged on their own, it's fairer that way) but as an adaptation on its own merits there are too many shortcomings to recommend. 4.5/10 Bethany Cox
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