Before I did this review I was checking out other reviews for this film, letterboxd, IMDb and so on and it was full of 5 star reviews saying it was an absolute masterpiece in the history of cinema, Im not sure about that. I’m not gonna lie, this was a bit of a hard slog for me.
When referring to this film, people say it’s Tarkovsky’s best film. I do agree with that to an extent. It’s by far his most epic, in both scale and timescale and it’s DEFINITELY his longest, at just over 3 hours (and this isn’t the longest version). Maybe it was the time I was watching it, maybe if I watch it again I might be more attentive towards it but I found myself struggling to keep up with what was going on. Saying all this you might think “this isn’t much of a review” but I honestly don’t know what else to say about it. I can see why people like it, I couldn’t see it.
Included on disc 2 are Part 2 (following on from Ivan’s Childhood) of Metaphysical Dream Zone by Mary Wild, and to be honest, I don’t know what the hell she was going on about. Maybe that’s me just being stupid, but it was completely lost on me. A making of is also included, which is more like silent footage from behind the scenes with music but it was never the less interesting to see footage from the mid-60’s. The disc is rounded off by a couple of interviews, one with actor Yuri Nazarov and Tarkovsky’s wife Marina.
So, I can see why this is lauded when talking about the great historical epics, I just didn’t really feel it. So for now…just see it and make your own mind up.
Drama, History, World Cinema | Russia, 1966 | 15 | Curzon Artificial Eye | out now | Dir.Andrei Tarkovsky | Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov,Nikolay Grinko | Buy: [Blu-ray]