Country: United States/Italy
Director: David Lean
Starring: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger
David Lean's three hour long epic, Doctor Zhivago, is based upon the Nobel Prize winning novel by Boris Pasternak, which is set during the Russian Revolution where we follows Pasternak's alter ego, Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago (Omar Sharif), a poet and a doctor whom is thorn between two women, his wife and stepsister, Tonya (Gerandine Chaplin) and the young and beautiful, Lara Antipova (Julie Christie) who Yuri meets several times during the revolution, from the crowded Moscow to the ice cold Ural mountains, but no matter what, the revolution will always find them.
Doctor Zhivago is without a doubt a very beautiful film, with all it's sets, costumes and landscapes, and the thought of how big the russian empire is, makes it even more breathtaking. Well that was my immediate reaction after I saw it the first time. But after years of watching other russian films by Eisenstein and Tarkovsky, Doctor Zhivago seems now like romance pocket books, with to many love cliches, and Omar Sharif's over the top theatrical facial expression, who was terribly miscast in the lead. The Magic is gone. And I can't lie when I say that the first hour of the film was so boring, and to long for character buildings, which could have been shorter, and I don't care if it's all in the book.
But what I liked about this movie, is still the things which I was impressed by the first time. The beautiful cinematography, the landscapes, costumes, the art direction and Julie Christie. So my conclusion is that this movie is simply eye candy, with the right romantic tone and conflicts. So if I had to chose some one to recommend it to, it would have been the ones who haven't seen any russian movies, and since Zhivago follows pretty much a safe recipe, it's a good start for more breathtaking adventures about the mysterious and the majestic country called Russia.
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