A long time ago a splendid deer with golden antlers lived in the woods, always protecting the poor and weak and disdaining evil. In a little village nearby the woods widow Yevdokya lived ...
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A long time ago a splendid deer with golden antlers lived in the woods, always protecting the poor and weak and disdaining evil. In a little village nearby the woods widow Yevdokya lived with her twin daughters Mashenka and Dashenka, her son and her old father. One day the girls observe robbers hunting the deer. Shortly after they are lured into the woods by forest spirits. Infuriated about their presence, witch Baba Yaga turns them into fawns. Meanwhile, Yevdokya searches for her daughters. For protecting the deer of robbers she gets a magical ring to protect her from danger. The deer advises her to set off to the red sun or the clear moon. But both cannot reach the magic woods with their light. Finally, the boy accompanied by his cat goes in search for sisters and mother.Written by
Have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of watching Russian films, especially fantasy. Both five years ago, when going on a bit of a quest to help me through an intensive period of studying, and now when re-visiting the fond happy memories during a much calmer period. Watching the films has given me great pleasure and has even been an education, getting acquainted with these stories and making one interested in learning Russian (a lovely language, though not easy to learn).
'Baba Yaga' is not one of the standouts of the "re-visiting" period and it is not one of my favourite Russian fantasies. It is still very entertaining and charming and with a lot in its favour. There are enough imaginative touches to set it apart and the atmosphere has a sense of wonder, the surrealism being a big part of the appeal. It is another winner from Alexandr Rou, have not seen all his films but have liked all that have been seen. It will be a shame though that some viewers will be most familiar with him from 'Frosty' (or 'Morozko'), riffed on MST3K, which to me is not near as bad as indicated and not done justice by its dubbed version (like all the Russian fantasy films riffed).
Some of the acting is a touch on the broad side.
Plus some of the story is disjointed at times and not always as focused as it could.
On the other hand, enough of 'Baba Yaga' is colourful and nicely designed with a good deal of atmosphere. The special effects, while not what one calls special, have a charm to them and are quite imaginatively used. The music is lush and atmospheric and Rou directs with an assured touch that never gets too serious or farcical. The writing flowed enough and made enough sense, with the story actually pretty simple even with a good deal thrown in.
Liked the storytelling, which was fun and amiable with a sense of wonder and endearing quirkiness, and the viewer is fully immersed into a wonderfully bizarre world. The surrealism is done inventively and even though strange (in a captivating way) didn't to me become incoherent. The characters are immensely colourful in personality and it is difficult to not remember them. The acting is not the greatest but there was something oddly likeable in this respect, Baba Yaga is played very memorably with a mix of theatrical and sinister.
In conclusion, very nice. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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