So, first off. The negative reviews on this film are the usual variety for this type of film, that it is "to slow." If you don't like stories that are as much on the inner world and complexities of people as opposed to more expansive, narrative films than this might not be for you. It is methodical in it's approach, it's quiet and full of sorrow and trauma that has been callused over. I loved this film. First off, the acting is fantastic and especially the acting by the woman who plays Masha. She is spellbinding with smiles that seem to at times hide her pain or at times her intent of what she wants. The film is full of rich, beautiful cinematography with lovely long held closes ups. The use of color and contrasting absence of color is used with terrific effect and symbolism. Finally, the story is on the impact of war in Russia and in particular the impact on these two woman. That woman were on the front lines in Russia. It's really about while the war is over, life post war is perhaps even more chaotic, unknown for how to survive now as much as in the battle field. Although, this is all played out more in internal dynamics between the characters, choices they make related to prior trauma, suffering or ideas on how to move forward. The dynamic and contrasting needs of these two friends who were on the front line together is amazing. The film sucks you in and is hard to look away from with its quiet tension and pervasive sadness, longing and manipulations within this context of living for something of meaning. I found it totally engrossing with barely a misstep and a rather haunting experience. One warning.. there is a rather disturbingly, sad scene pretty early on that is quietly horrifying....
Very intriguing film. A veterans hospital is an excellent setting for the characters to act out the beginnings of their postwar lives.
This drama delves into the minds and lives of two women who have been intensely bonded after fighting side by side as anti-aircraft gunners in Leningrad. Superb are the performances of the main characters.
We have no idea about the devastation in European countries during and after the War, as well the hardship caused by Stalin's new regime. If anyone feels Communists had it easy watch any movie about Russia, Stalin and the hardships of the people.
Wonderful film set in the immediate post-WW ll period,with amazing performances by the principal actors, particularly the two main female characters.
An intriguing movie with contrasting characters. One wonders what the war has done to them and what they would have been without it.
Jul 29, 2020
★★★★ ⅓ No disagreement with RogerEbert's very high mark, 4/4 stars, and describes the film "astonishing." A shocking account of horrors some Soviet soldiers had gone through in WW II.
and variety.com: Exceptionally Crafted, Devastating ...
91% Rotten Tomatoes
I couldn’t finish it. Unnecessarily long and with stilted acting. The plot could have developed in a wonderful movie, as this time period in Russia is tragic and fascinating, but alas, it wasn’t to be. I felt completely disconnected from the motivation of the characters, the interactions felt completely artificial.
Have to agree with the previous reviewer. Things move very slow in this movie and for no apparent reason. Stuck it out to the end still trying to figure it out. Weird stuff, or maybe I’m just not sophisticated enough to understand. I’ve come to the conclusion that if the so called expert media movie reviewers rate something highly I better run the other way. On the plus side there was no profanity.
This film does an excellent job of portraying the post war confusion facing the Russians after WWII. While I enjoyed the cinematography, the script, and the great performances of the cast, I found this movie to be unnecessarily long with many shots of people just staring off into space (Iya's PTSD notwithstanding), presumably contemplating their next action or words, or maybe just out of numbness or shock to their situation. There were also many character choices that seemed be things that real people just wouldn't do. I'm sure they were deliberate attempts to make the viewer uncomfortable, which they did, but also succeeded in making this viewer start losing interest at times.
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