A group of Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to two Russian women who have been living there.
Stalingrad has become hell and paradise for those who were worthy of awards, but the only reward they managed to get was love. How they won, and how they were not defeated, who they were and who was on the other side of the street, what secret they have taken away with them - the movie will tell this story.Written by
The Stalingrad set built near St. Petersburg was also used to film the opening and closing scenes of earthquake/tsunami stricken Japan. See more »
When Kan is driving through the crowd on the German Kettenkrad (the tracked motorcycle), he is just randomly twisting the left and right handgrips on the handlebars, which is doing nothing, as the machine is apparently being towed. See more »
Seriously, why is almost every scene in this movie using slow motion? This one visual trick screwed up the film's pacing and tension so badly that whatever else might've been there couldn't have saved it. Slow motion is usually used to amplify powerful scenes, not to blanket the whole movie with it. It can obviously enhance a scene in a movie if used sparingly but the filmmakers really went comically overboard with its use in this one. The movie's laughably propagandistic sentimentality does it no favors either though I guess Bondarchuck's pal Putin might appreciate it (Bondarchuck has publicly supported Putin's moves in Crimea and otherwise).
The script and the dialogue were absolutely terrible and cringe-worthy. Who actually speaks in those propagandistic terms? They also set up the characters so badly, I could scarcely remember anyone's name and didn't care about any of them. They're ridiculous caricatures with no humanity behind them and their actions are illogical and baffling most of the time. The characterizations are so minimal you'd struggle to see them with a microscope. The setup in the beginning and the narration overall didn't work either, I mean was that Russian aid worker really telling the story of the bloodiest battle in human history to a group of scared German girls trapped under ruins? Way to depress them even further.
The movie wasn't really about Stalingrad either but about this hastily put together group of soldiers defending some random building in Stalingrad. You could've transplanted them to any other random battle and nothing would've changed. There's the Barmaley statue of the dancing children and boats crossing the Volga to remind you it's actually Stalingrad but that's about it. If they chose this as the film's context then the movie should've been about resilience and brotherhood but none of that was to be found. Instead the film's focus was on the explosions and slow-motion combat. Michael Bay would surely be proud. I have to say I did get a few laughs from the movie though. When the few defenders of the building suddenly decide to storm out of their defensive positions à la 300 and when a gun crew manages to bank a shell off the armor of a broken T-34 to a German position around the corner, I just couldn't contain myself. I don't think the filmmakers intended those scenes to be funny though so make of that what you will.
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