While studying to be a doctor in Moscow, Yuri Zhivago meets the beautiful Lara, setting in train a fateful romance that spans the early years of the Russian Revolution, during which Zhivago and Lara’s lives are turned upside down.
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One can only wish that films this good can one day see the light of day again. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. Omar Sharif is magnificent as the title character and Rod Steiger is brilliant. Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin are radiant. A film that should be remembered for all time. David Lean is the one director who mastered the epic!
I hated this film the first time I saw it but I was young and unwise. I just saw it again and it took my breath away. It's no Lawrence and it is still a mite confusing for those who aren't students of history but the cinematography is extraordinary in a way that I haven't seen in ages. Zhivago is still a horny philanderer. That much hasn't changed since I was a kid.
A sumptuously produced romance set against the mad pageant of history, and it just fails to come to life somehow -- there's something missing, it is all just a little too cool and observed rather than lived.
David Lean, renowned Scopemeister generale and (due to collaborations with Young) cinematographic extraordinaire, whose calling card is both his strength and weakness as an auteur. The exposition is at points unnecessary and languorous - a stricter editor could have transformed Zhivago into a masterpiece.
The tumult of revolution, a grand love affair, magnificent sets and landscapes, death and violence; but for all that really quite bloodless and dull dramatically, and unconvincing as in any way a Russian saga. Rod Steiger and Klaus Kinski, going against type by resisting the urge to chew the whole of Russia, come out with most credit.
…aka the film in which Omar Sharif melancholically contemplates out of windows for three hours. There are a lot of incomprehensible choices made, especially for such a master of human dynamics such as Lean. Still, it's impossible not to be in awe of the film's scope and Freddie Young's breathtaking cinematography.