Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dr. Zhivago as a mini-series

I was going to rent the 1965 film last weekend - it is a personal favorite and had been since I first saw it in the 70s - but instead picked up a 4-hour BBC TV miniseries from 2002.

It is brilliant; like any book Pasternak's novel has far too much material for any film, so an interesting comparison can be made between what two directors would choose to exclude and include.  So, no half brother but the suicide of Yuri's father is included.  A better understanding of his obsession with Lara and of Komarovsky's effect on his own life.  More development of Strelnikov. Very nice locations, although I think the winters in the 1965 version manage to look cold in a way this version does not. 

Well worth renting.  Yuri Zhivago is still a schmuck for cheating on his family, but there's not much you can do about that.  At least in this version he expresses some measure of guilt over it.

For the wargamer?  A better armored  train for Comrade Strelnikov.  After a couple of scenes, anyone gaming the civil war will pay more attention to logistics.  Overall, just a lovely story set against the background of the revolution.