Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Come and See: or 'Idi i Smotri' (1985) - ★★★★★

Director: Elem Klimov
Writers: Ales Adamovich, Elem Klimov (Screenplay)
Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova

This is the most relentless and incredible war film I have ever seen. Come and See is a movie that every single film fanatic should see. It makes Schindler's List look like a melodrama. We've seen many sides of World War II, here we see the side of the innocent Russian villagers. Over the course of the war, the Nazi's destroyed 628 Russian villages. This gives us an unflinching look at the torture that was inflicted on these people.

It follows a young man named Flora (Aleksey Kravchenko), who thought he wanted to help fight for his country more than anything else in the world. He wanted to see what happens in war, so he joined the Partisan's to protect Russia. To say, 'he got more than he bargained for,' is the worlds biggest understatement. The things this young man went through are devastating. We see this boy lose his innocence and his mind. He loses everything.

It's definitely one of the Top 5 greatest war movies ever made. It is not pretty, it's anything but poetic, it's just like World War 2. At times the action feels so realistic it's like we're there. When I watch this film, I feel like I'm transported to the times of the war, simply because it does not come across as a movie. It's like watching a documentary of a boy who tries to survive through the most devastating trials and tribulations.

The falseness and melodrama of other war films becomes so apparent went compared to Come and See. they tend to skip showing audiences how horrifying war truly is. An example of this is Saving Private Ryan. That is a brilliant movie, however, once the opening sequence is over you're just watching a drama about a group of men who need to find Ryan. War is secondary in that film. I suspect that in real life war doesn't fade to the background so easily.

Aleksey Kravchenko gave one of the best performances I've ever seen. There has never been an actor who could display the loss of innocence better than he has in Come and See. We see his character change so fast, we almost forget that he's just a boy. The expressions that he emotes on his face are unparalleled by any character in any film. I doubt that many of the legendary Hollywood actors could do half as good a job as Kravchenko at look thing terrified. The picture on the right says it all.

When you're watching Come and See, you're faced with devastation, devastation and more devastation. In the end, you're just left feeling devastated. That is what separates it from every other movie. No words can truly describe how amazing this film is. It doesn't try to sugarcoat anything. What it does do is show you what happened to the 628 Russian villages in a most raw and powerful way.

1 comment:

  1. 628 villages - that's just in Belarussian SSR alone (9 million population before the war, 1.5 million civilian casualties, 0.8 million combat related casualties), and it's only cases when all their inhabitants were killed (mostly burned alive)