Monday, February 2, 2009

Movie Journal: War And Peace

It's true: up until recently I had never had the chance to see the classic book-to-film adaptation War And Peace. In fact, I had heard little about it. What I had heard was promising enough that for a long while I had looked forward to seeing it when the opportunity presented itself. I only wish I had seen this undeniable masterpiece sooner.

Though I had known that the film starred famous actress Audrey Hepburn, I was surprised and delighted to also find the likes of Henry Fonda and many other great actors present. The mixture of established yet eclectic professionals seemed out of place to me in theory, but in action I saw that these people knew precisely how to portray the characters they represented, and it all came to together very well.

The main storyline's emphasis seemed to move back and forth between the war taking place as Napolean Bonaparte invades Russia, and soap opera-esque interpersonal conflicts taking place between the main characters, many of which reside in Moscow.

The characters are so real and the development they experience so vivid that every event that took place over the course of the story is still fresh in my mind. Which is saying alot, considering it runs for almost three and a half hours. It is, quite honestly, probably the longest movie I've yet seen. The last time I viewed a movie anywhere near this long was when I saw Seven Samurai. Gosh, that movie was long.

Don't get the wrong idea, though; because War And Peace is the better for it. Though it is probably the longest movie I've yet seen, there is not a single moment that it drags or grinds, in any way. It remains fresh and interesting from beginning to end. In that sense, you could call it the perfect three-hour epic. Definitely a film I will have to add to my list of favorite classics from the 1950's.

9 out of 10

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