Monday, August 10, 2009

Doctor Zhivago: Epic Love - Long And Worth It

I am watching Doctor Zhivago. I've actually been watching it now for about three days which may seem odd to most but it is over 3 hours long and I haven't been able to commit to 3 hours for a movie. So I'm watching in stages or Acts like a play. It's a love story but with historical undertones as it is set in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War that follows. The main premise is that Zhivago is torn between his fidelity and his passion. Zhivago is of course married and of course he is in love with another woman who just happens to be his muse. Did I mention, he is not only a doctor but also a poet? And tall, dark and handsome to boot. If only he had better luck! It seems that his life is a series of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a constant torment of love and duty. He seems doomed from the moment we meet him. It's as if the tragedy of his life mirrors the tragedy of Russia itself.

According to, well, everyone, this is one of the greatest movies ever made. I haven't exactly decided on that yet but perhaps when I finish it - who knows, I might agree. What I can say is that Doctor Zhivago is truly a cinematic gem with beautiful characters and an epic love story against a historical backdrop of impossible circumstances. You can't help empathizing with the characters, wishing for a better Russia and hoping for a happier ending (I can only guess it will be tragic - the end I mean). And obviously since the book was written in 1960 and the movie came out in 1965, this love story is the kind that will live on through the ages and for many generations to come. If that's not worth sitting 3 hours through, I'm not sure what is.

photo courtesy of


  1. Sorry, partial to newer movies with more action and a bit racier. I also have trouble believing films with obvious cardboard rocks and fake snow. Of course, the day of "real movies" has passed with the extensive use of computer-generated scenery and post-production additions. Will you tell us how the movie rates when you finish?

  2. I did finish and I have to say the ending was sad. What a tragic tale. Glad I saw it, not THE greatest but I can see why it is on AFI's top 100 passionate films of all time.


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