Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CastleDrama: War and Peace (2007)

I'm totally in Russian splendour mode at the moment and after watching Russian Ark, I finally started watching BBC's adaptation of "War and Peace" after reading so much about it. Having just started, I have a bit of a hard time with the way the characters look, not because anything is wrong with them but as I have another adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic in mind. (And the phenomenon isn't new to me, I always am a bit irritated at first when I watch a new adaptation of anything.)

The mini-series I have in mind is a 2007 adaptation of "War and Peace", a co-production by various European TV channels. Consequently the actors come from many different countries including French Clémence Poésy as Natasha Rostova, German Alexander Beyer as Pierre Bezukhov and Italian Alessio Boni as Andrei Bolkonsky. Here's one of my favourite scenes from the mini-series, Natasha's and Andrei's waltz (and yes, I know that the Masquerade Waltz was written by Aram Khachaturian, is thus a 20th century piece and consequently highly unlikely to have been played at a ball in 18-something, but I do love a good dance through a palace's ball room):


Confession: I have yet to read Tolstoy's masterpiece - it's one of my life's goals - so I can't say much about any adaptation being faithful to the 1000+ page long original. I'm sure it's a very condensed version considering that there are four parts of about 90 minutes each. It was one of the first costume dramas I ever watched and while it certainly wasn't a perfect series, the issues I had with it could be overlooked, as the message behind the story was such a powerful one - I can only imagine how great the book must be.


If you have read the book, leave a comment below and tell me how great the book really is.

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