Friday, December 23, 2011

Doctor Zhivago

A Russian officer (Alec Guinness) overseeing a works project pulls one of the laborers into his office whom he believes to be his late brother's daughter. He then proceeds to tell of the love affair between the poet/doctor (Omar Sharif) and the girl's mother (Julie Christie), all against the backdrop of the Bolshevik Revolution. "Doctor Zhivago" is David Lean's expansive and beautiful adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel. Adapted by Robert Bolt, the story is told in the kind of epic fashion that only Lean was capable of. In the leads, Omar Sharif and Julie Christie are quite wonderful as two people unwillingly swept up by the revolution. Sharif displays a quiet stoicism here that is really appealing and Christie is quite wonderful as a woman enduring the hardships first of poverty, then of tyranny. The supporting players are quite good as well including Guinness who is marvelous as usual, and Rod Steiger and Tom Courtenay who play two very different kind of brutes who are both involved with Christie's Laura. "Doctor Zhivago" is an engrossing epic from the legendary Lean, who by narrowing his scope to a handful of players, tells a touching and sumptuous story of the Russian Revolution.