- 1h 53min
In the winter of 1942/1943, a series of not-so-well known, yet bloody battles occurred near the town of Rzhev. Those battles received the name of 'Rzhev Meat Grinder'. The film is based on t... Read allIn the winter of 1942/1943, a series of not-so-well known, yet bloody battles occurred near the town of Rzhev. Those battles received the name of 'Rzhev Meat Grinder'. The film is based on the award-winning novel by Vyacheslav Kondratyev.In the winter of 1942/1943, a series of not-so-well known, yet bloody battles occurred near the town of Rzhev. Those battles received the name of 'Rzhev Meat Grinder'. The film is based on the award-winning novel by Vyacheslav Kondratyev.
I don't know. The low score makes no sense to me.
What does make sense to me is that director Igor Kopylov crafts a fine film around one of the many pivotal battles that helped shape Russia's eventual victory over the Germans leading up to the battle of Stalingrad.
Ovsyannikovo was one of the many small strategic points in the battlefield that the Soviets needed to capture to push the Germans out. The film itself is just a small look at the many lives lost trying to capture and secure this small village.
The film does a fine job of not shying away from the brutal and sadistic nature of the Germans to secure victory (massacring and raping civilians) and then systematically wiping out opposing forces.
The film also does a fine job of making it known that some of the biggest hurdles the Russian army faced in the war was from Soviet leadership!
The bureaucracy and stupidity of the Soviets cost many great and brave men their lives. A central sub-plot to the film outlines how the already thinning company would lose additional soldiers over the most trivial and banal of things.
But this is what happened, and this is why so many Russians died during World War II (and thereafter during the reign of the Soviet Union).
As far story structure is concerned, the film mostly only centers around the men stationed Ovsyannikovo, with a few snippets of the commanding officers trying to justify their logic in not sending reinforcements or properly aiding their soldiers. I almost wanted to spit into the face of the commanders wasting he lives of these brave soldiers; that's just how engrossing the film had become.
But what's more is that all of this feels authentic. Kopylov makes the battles feel grounded and realistic for the most part, and some soldiers suffer shell shock, PTSD, delirium and panic attacks, just as you would expect under those conditions. The violence is also fairly visceral and realistic; the special effects team make use of both squibbing and CGI, so while those of you who may hate the look of CGI blood, there is still some squibbing effects that help highlight the realism of the gun battles.
Overall, it's a fascinating watch. Of course it's not as over-the-top and action-packed as T-34, but it is very similar to Kim Druzhinin and Andrey Shalopa's tightly hewn war-thriller, Panfilov's 28. Ignore the low rating, I'm not sure what's going on with that, but if you can find a way to view this film definitely give it a watch.
- Jun 19, 2021