I expected something better from this film, but despite its story, which is an indictment of the Soviet system and that era, it failed. The story is simple - Soviet pilot loves Soviet private soldier, and true love has impossible obstacles to surmount. Something here to get your teeth in, but what I saw was the failure of dentures to bite hard. As cinema it is formulaic and looked to me to be like a cross between that kind of British film made in the 1950's with 'heroes' and stereotyped Germans, and a weepie with all the cliches that films of the 'old' school starring Jane Wyman or Ingrid Berman. For a start, their first 'orgasmic' encounter half underwater has two jet planes flying noisily past, which was the typical tactic to not offend or be too explicit. There is a firework scene in David Lean's 'Summer Madness' which does the same thing with fireworks exploding in the sky. As for the acting department, the two leads did their best, but their Russian accents were a big, big mistake, as authentic languages are quite simply authentic, and giving the English language sounds fake. And at times strained and hard to understand. I watched it with subtitles. In one scene one of their superiors says, 'What about your plans?' and I heard 'What about your glans?' I wept with laughter. And then there was the use of music - generic as most films are at the moment except for the inevitable Tchaikovsky. Our heroes love Ballet with a big 'B' as all homosexuals have to love Tchaikovsky, and of course love to watch men in tights and women being either lifted up or allowed their solo dances. And then there is Stravinsky and 'Firebird'. I will give no spoilers concerning that, with one of our heroes with tears in his eyes. It is, as it were, a key moment, and as some cynics would say, there was not a dry eye in the house. I am trying to restrain myself from the heterosexual necessities of this story, but true though it is and had to be, my mind wandered back to 'Brokeback Mountain'. I concluded that this film, which is not gay in any sense of the word, was made to appeal to the widest of audiences, and hopefully for Russians to see and ponder over their prejudices past and present. If it does reach Russia I hope they dub it, and I never thought I would have to say that! So why a 6 for this? It is professional. The two male lovers have muscles to die for and faces to match and there is nothing like physical beauty on the screen to sway an audience in its direction. The rules of the game cannot be subverted by the ordinary or ugly. I hate that notion, but accept it, and looked upon the film as a variation of 'All That Heaven Allows' (remember Douglas Sirk, Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson?) It woefully works.