Movie Review: Doctor Zhivago

dr zhivago

Hi everyone! Here I am again. Today I want to talk about a movie I saw the other day. The movie is “Doctor Zhivago” and it’s based on the novel from Boris Pasternak.

It’s one of those famous classic movies that everyone has seen but for some reason, I had never seen it before, even though I’m a classics lover.

Before I get into it let me just say that this was one of my grandmother’s favorite movie, along with “Gone with the Wind”, every time they showed this movie on the TV she just stopped whatever she was doing and started watching it until it was done, no matter what time it was. So, out of curiosity, my sister and I decided to watch it. Before we started I said to her that if we got bored or if we didn’t like it we could just stop it.

I wasn’t expecting to get so much into it the way I did. The story was captivating, and even if we started watching it late at night I just didn’t want to go to bed until we finished it.

For those of you who did not watch the movie, it’s a love story between a doctor, with the heart of a poet, Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago, (played by Omar Sharif) and a young woman named Larissa or “Lara” (played by Julie Christie). The story is set in Russia during the years going the First World War, the Soviet Revolution and the Soviet Regime, the two protagonists have to go through a vast number of obstacles and tribulation during the course of their lives. I don’t want to reveal too much, in case you haven’t watched it but it’s one of those epic movies, with a lot of hardship and struggles, but also with a lot of beautiful and poetic moments.

Now there is one thing I’ve found particularly interesting about Pasternak’s novel. As it turns out the novel was banned from the USSR, probably due to the fact that it portrays the revolution and the following years in an unflattering light.

The book was smuggled to Milan in 1957 by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, a very famous Italian publisher, and activist. The Italian Communist Party even expelled Feltrinelli for publishing the book. The following year Pasternak was even awarded the noble literature prize, which angered the communist party of the Soviet Union even more.

Now here is the interesting part: apparently in 2014 some declassified documents showed that the CIA used this novel as an instrument to cause discontent inside the USSR, they describe the novel as having “great propaganda value”.

This goes to show how powerful books truly are. It is something I’ve always known, but finding out this information got me thinking about how books and novels are viewed by governments and people in power.

Well anyhow, I’ve found the story particularly interesting and fascinating, I haven’t read the book yet but I will definitely add it to my long Russian Literature reading list. One thing that really stuck with me though was the captivating main theme. Here’s the link if you want to listen to it: https://youtu.be/4T3SUjwrsEo. It was truly fascinating.

This is it, for now, I’ll be back here soon with my weekly Game of Thrones episode review. If you want to let me know in the comments what you think about this movie, please do. I’m also interested in knowing how the book is compared to the movie adaptation, if some of you have read the book please let me know what you think about it.

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