Doctor Zhivago

201-Words-or-Less Film Review Home


The choppy romance story hasnít held up well over time, but this movie shows why lovely panoramic cinematography is still measured against the late David Leanís standards. Rating: 7 out of 10.

201-Words-or-Less Film Review

Many people donít entirely like this movie, but begrudgingly recommend it. The romance aspect is puzzling. Omar Sharifís Yuri Zhivago and Julie Christieís Lara share so little screen time that the chemistry has no chance to work. Although I cared about both of the characters separately, I was never pulling for them to end up together, which is hell on a supposedly romantic movie. By the end I felt far less sorry for Yuri or Lara than Zhivagoís spurned wife and son.

The Russian revolution is the backdrop in the comedy of errors that keeps the lovers apart. Some complain that the Russian history was relegated to a supporting role, but it made for a spectacular backdrop. Where Lean failed to infuse the story with historical accuracy or details, he certainly got across the sense of devastation.

Still, the film is the work of a visual virtuoso. At least twenty of the scenes (mostly landscapes) had me gasping in awe. And where the story fails, the score excels; the balalaika strains are still running through my head.

Itís not a quick or easy viewing, but there is enough here to make it worth the serious film loverís time.

Word Count: 198

Copyright 2002 by Toby Baldwin

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Year: 1965
Director: David Lean
Even movie buffs should note the running time: 200 minutes. It actually used both sides of a DVD. Thatís quite a long haul for a mediocre story, no matter how pretty the scenery or score.
Rating: PG-13 for "mature themes."

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