35mm, re-rating. There is no going back: the young film buff i was has considered this film a pastry, and now i consider to be one of the best possible examples of an international overproduction. Why? For example, by the articulation's dialectic of the voice off with the dialogue in, or by the scenes in which the action is off being in by the look of a watching character. In addition to Lean's ability to frame
Great editing at times, great direction (Lean 'the epic king'), and top notch performances elevate what otherwise might be a bit of a chore to sit through. There are tendencies of self indulgence, a bland story at bloated length, and sets that are very drab and bleak. All of these should turn the viewer away, but somehow it all works. Career defining for Christie and Sharif, and top 5 for Lean. 4 very solid stars.
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.
David Lean's majestic epic telling of the Boris Pasternak novel seems to have gathered the reputation as one of screen's great films. However, the film seems often a simplistic telling of Russian history with its great love story being one between a woman of somewhat easy virtue and an adulterer. Fine film technically with memorable camerawork by Freddie Young and one of the great scores by Maurice Jarre.