We take a look at the life of a Russian physician and poet during the aftermath of World War I, the Russian revolution and the Russian Civil War. As he falls in love with a woman despite being married and their paths keep crossing over many years.
I will warn you thought that this film is certainly a long hard slog between the 3 hours 20/30 mark as it has an intermission of music as well to contend with. I have had it on Blu Ray for quite a while now and been really trying to watch it as part of the Best Picture Project and the fact that I love Omar Sharif. I have eventually made that happen hence putting together this review.
War films are never really easy to watch and this one is no different, we do get an amazing romance that keeps going throughout the film and appears again just when you least expect it. Yuri and Lara should be together, we want them to be together but we also know that it is never really going to be possible. Both of them being married to other people who makes it even more tricky to watch at times, as a viewer you find yourself forgetting that.
The film boasts a truly incredible cast who really do have incredible performances from start to finish. With Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay really adding to Julie Christie and Omar Sharif in the leading roles. When you watch the film you can really understand why it was nominated for Best Picture, as it really is a beautifully shot film, with the performances to match with it, let’s face it the snow really does make a huge difference to the setting. It contains plenty of truly heartbreaking moments as well, who can forget the look on Yuri’s face when he just knows that he will never actually see Lara again running up the stairs in the house.
One of the highest grossing films of all time (when worked out with inflation) which I was quite surprised about in all honesty as it often gets overlooked when talking about classic films. I really do think it should be talked about more and while it is tough and long going I was very impressed with the film. It probably would have been better to see it on the big screen, I am sure that happened not that long ago?
It really did make me like Omar Sharif even more as it was a truly heartfelt and impressive performance, I am pleased I have been watching more of his films in recent years as he is a very gifted actor. I was equally as impressed with Julie Christie, I don’t think I have seen her in many films but in this she really was very good.
So I am very happy to say that watching this film as part of the Best Picture Project was a very good idea, with the powerful story and important parts of history for Russia.