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Its only right and fitting that a bloody period in old Russia’s history should be told by the Russians themselves. Thank god Hollywood was not involved.
1612 is a violent and bloody movie told in Russian with English subtitles about an equally blood period in Russia’s history, the “Time of Chaos”, when Russia was leaderless. Her last Tsar had just been murdered and the throne was the prize.
This film covers those chaotic years when a Polish prince sought to become the next Tsar through his marriage to the dead Tsar’s sister. But his ambition is thwarted by a serf in love with his wife.
Only the Russian’s could come up with a tale like this – part fantasy, part folklore, part truth.
It starts slowly as we meet the main characters, the serf Andrei, his master a Spanish mercenary, a Tatar, the Tsarina Kseniya Godunova, the last of her line, and her husband the Polish pretender. But before you know it you are in the middle of bloody fighting, scenes where a holy-man stands on a platform in a forest seeing and knowing all, and the frequent appearance of a unicorn. Yes, you heard me right – a unicorn.
Needless to say the pretender fails, and as I have come to expect in any Russian tale, Andrei the serf despite winning the day for mother Russia in the battle for Moscow outside the walls of the Kremlin, still remains a serf. And the love of his life Kseniya escapes the hangman’s noose by being sent to become a nun.
I give it four stars for the action sequences, particularly the siege of the walled town.
It’s that time of year once again when I pay my personal homage to the undisputed master of fantasy – J.R.R Tolkien.