The technical finesse of the film, especially in its battle scene – for example, a deep focus shot flips up, slowly turning upside-down and then just freezes there – is particularly suitable for conveying a feeling of disorientation and loss.
On a brief leave from the army, a young soldier makes his way home. Over the course of his journey, he witnesses a wide range of the human condition across Russia during World War II. "Poetic imagery" indeed. The light is beautiful. There are stunning close-ups and scenes that capture the vast landscape. The storytelling is full of emotion. I loved this film from start to finish.
Saw this just one week after watching Kalatozov's 1957 masterpiece The Cranes are Flying, I urge anyone to do the same. There are many interesting similarities between the two films. Both are poetic meditations about what effects war has, in Cranes on the family and friends of a soldier and in Ballad on the towns, the landscapes and the citizens who populate the war-torn area. Many unforgettable scenes, a real treat!
Honestly less engaging than I hoped it would be but by no means a bad movie. Loved the visuals very much but I couldn't get connect to the central character at all. Good story, great visuals, just wish it did more for me emotionally.
This film had me weeping more than any other war film I've ever experienced. Such glorious storytelling and commentary on the personal and humanistic effects of war. It gives me shivers just remembering it.
I loved the kindness and the camaraderie within he film's characters in spite of being surrounded by a war. It expresses well the best qualities of being human such as commitment, duty, and love. A film that helped influence Andrei Tarkovsky's film-making.
Too high expectations I'm afraid. Not bad, but if you compare to other amazing soviet movies with WW2 in the background you clearly see it's not the one you'll remember. I liked unconventional camerawork though.
During a time where Soviet cinema was on fire, a phenomenally shot war flick focused on a young soldier who meets his first love while on the road to visit his mother. Director Grigori was a war veteran himself and captured a close and personal side to war through human experience rather than on the battlefield.