Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Assassin of the Tsar|
Actors: Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Oleg Yankovsky, Malcolm McDowell, Yuri Belyaev, Olga Antonova
Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror
Nicholas & Alexandra meets the X-Files
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 05/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Assassin of the Tsar brings to the screen the story of a doctor who is drawn from Moscow to a small town in Russia in order "to practice psychiatry once again," or so he thinks...
The setting is post-Stalinist USSR and a feel of liberalism is in the air. The newly arrived psychiatrist from Moscow is intrigued by one schizophrenic patient in particular who believes he murdered Tsar Alexander II in 1881 and Tsar Nicholas II in 1918 as two distinct killers (!). What he finds out might be more than he bargained for...
On the positive side:
1) The plot (and the twist therein) is definitely original and opens a window into glorious Russia.
2) A strong sense of History is all about.
3) Shot on location it provides for some noteworthy scenery.
4) The costumes are great!
5) A very accurate portrayal of the USSR of the time (i.e. the overall mood, way of life, conditions, setting etc)
On the negative side:
1) The acting/directing could have been better (e.g. Empress Alexandra should have had a German, not a Russian accent), though Malcolm McDowall and Oleg Yankovsky do a great job with their multiple roles.
2) The film is too slow at times.
In short, the plot, the dialogues, the setting, and the costumes are great.
The film is a cross between Nicholas & Alexandra, the X-Files, and Spider; a combination that surprises, and yet works out fine!
Overall, though not a masterpiece, it is definitely a movie worth watching, as it will surely provide for an evening's entertainment! Highly recommended for those with a soft spot for History and all things Russian, along with the masterpieces Doctor Zhivago and the Barber of Siberia. 3 1/2 Stars