The 1968 film shows Fedor Karamazov as a stingy old man, who's three sons are after his money. The Karamazov brothers, Dmitri, a gambler, Ivan, a thinker, and Aleksei, a monk, are living through their different problems. Ivan is trying to save the world by making a story of "The Great Inquisitor". Dmitri, who lost money in gambling, is begging his father to help him. But the father gives a lot of money to his mistress Grushenka.Written by
Some good performances, particularly Mark Prudkin as Fyodor Pavlovich, but the film's overbearing theatricality works against the drama of Dostoevsky's novel. The staginess is also not supported by the production design so the storm and stress performances feel ill matched to their realistic backgrounds. There's not much of a cinematic style to the film either and what there is is rather unimaginative. There's very little humor in the film for an adaptation of a novel that can be deeply and unsettlingly funny. And then there's the strange, wrong headed casting of Andrey Myagkov as Alyosha, arguably the central point of view of the novel. Myagkov's Alosha is a doltish void, somewhat of a holy fool, a characterization that might be found in other Dostoevsky novels but not in this one. All in all, a disappointment, not as embarrassing as the Yul Brenner adaptation but just as vulgar in its own way.
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