While I’m not one for the long drawn out historical drama’s I am a big fan of Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Caligula). Mind you, this mini-series came out in 2007, I was still interested in seeing what else Clémence Poésy had done after seeing her in films like the Harry Potter franchise, In Bruges, and the hardly seen Heartless. With that being said I began the long trek through the re-imagined Tolstoy adaptation that pretty much broke the bank back when it first arrived.
First off, money well spent in regards to location, costumes, and most of the cast. I do recall seeing the 1956 version in school along with Doctor Zhivago, but it had been awhile so when the film seemed very much altered to me I just kind of shrugged and went along with it. It’s adapted from a novel that spanned over 1,000 pages so, even in a mini-series, you’re most like going to get whatever vision the respected director chooses to create leaving a lot of stuff on the wayside, especially when they know they’re going to be evaluated on contrast with any previous versions (of which I am sure there are many on both stage and screen).
In any case, the series is a sweeping epic, as it should be, but you have to put time aside to really watch the film. Like most period drama’s you’re going to have to want to immerse yourself in the in film world and kind of lose your mind in it’s walls of rich glamour, poverty, war, and excessive drama. While I wasn’t 100% invested, again, not that great a fan of the period dramas, I was highly entertained by the enormity of this production. If you were ever a fan of the novel or have a love for costume productions, you could probably do worse.