Jul. 4th, 2014

philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Come And See (1985)

A Russian film from the 80s about World War II. It's not as propaganda-ry as you might expect. I hear (though I haven't checked) that the director's first movie was a comedy satirising Khrushchev, which ought to have been destroyed forever considering the Soviet track record, but Khrushchev found it so funny he prevented that from happening. Weird eh?

So our main character is a young boy keen to join the partisans. Right from the start there's a lot of swearing from his younger friend as they dig up a rifle.

Events progress pretty slowly, though there's a neat 80s soundtrack which put me in mind of movies from Cronenberg and Carpenter. It was quite an intense atmosphere, even if there weren't really many consistent characters including the Mary-Sue protagonist.

It's a pretty long film and having watched over two thirds of the runtime, the long plodding pacing made me disinclined to carry on. The one thing at that stage which still felt worth my time was the explosions. When the Nazis start dropping bombs, it looks like they actually dropped genuine World War II bombs. The explosions are enormous and the audience sees several trees felled by the bombardment. Why use special effects when you can just imitate the real thing, eh? :S

I wasn't expecting a film like this to contain a 'manic pixie dream girl', yet Glasha most certainly fits the bill. She's a female character who turns up randomly in a whole group of male soldiers. She puts down the main character, yet becomes his best friend. She randomly talks poetically about how she wants children. She's an outsider to the events of the film to some extent and yet she is not enough of a real person to ground the film, always remaining a side-feature to the ever-more-traumatised central male protagonist. We have no real explanation (so far at least) as to why Glasha is so quirky and when I returned to finish the final 40 minutes of the film she was no longer anywhere to be seen.

Before I stopped watching the first time around, Glasha had joined a bunch of nameless village women in mourning the people in the village who were slaughtered by the Nazis. Glasha has no connection with the town and no time is spent explaining to anyone who she is (and what explanation she gives to the protagonist seem inconsistent). Having joined a group of women I guess that's her narrative arc over with.

Click here for the rest of my review... )


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