It is difficult for an Indian to write a laudable review for this grandiose series after so many ethnic Russians have written brutally critical ones. Still I will try. I have watched both Bondarchuk's Soviet production of 1960s and this particular one. Let me put it like this. The Soviets (who tried hard to reproduce the aristocratic milieu of the Russian Empire of early 19 century) did their best and failed. May be it can be explained that under Lenin and Stalin they managed to execute all real Russian aristocrats - so there were no nobles left to tell them how the high life folks really behaved. I hear the only expert from "old" Russia they could unearth was the widow of the executed tsarist admiral Kolchak (even she was condemned to some 18 years in various GULAG camps). In this series the motley crew of European star actors and gifted Russian extras surprisingly create a very sophisticated and warm world of Russian nobility which is quite believable for a fan of classic Russian culture like me. Two grades are off due to poorly staged battle scenes and outlandish Russian hussars's braids (unlike the Mongols their elite cavalry never wore braids, especially in the 19 century).