Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Master and Margaret |
Il Maestro e Margherita
Actors: Ugo Tognazzi, Mimsy Farmer, Alain Cuny, Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic, Pavle Vujisic
Director: Aleksandar Petrovic
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Amusing rendition of the literary masterpiece.
BT | Brooklyn, NY United States | 07/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the "official" synopsis above is inaccurate. That it is possible for a critic to see the movie and then summarize it incorrectly should serve as a warning that this movie isn't very easy to follow -- unless you're familiar with the book that the movie is based on. Here's a better description of the plot:Master, a Russian playwright, is anxiously anticipating the premiere of his new play. In the post-Revolutionary Moscow of the 1920s, the subject of the play, the encounter between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, frightens Master's conformist peers. In the atmosphere of political oppression and officially encouraged atheism, Master's thoughts on secular power, truth and freedom expressed through the play's characters seem alarmingly relevant to the literary hacks of the newly instituted artistic bureaucracy. Predictably, the play is condemned, but to the aid of the anguished writer come his new acquaintances: a beautiful woman he meets on a Moscow street and a mysterious stranger apparently endowed with supernatural powers who takes a special interest in the play.The movie is loosely based on Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece "Master and Margaret". If you haven't read it, you might want to take a chance on this movie -- but I can't predict your reaction to it, as my knowledge of the text makes my judgment very subjective. Ultimately, the movie isn't bad, the acting is adequate, and the plot alone should seem interesting enough to justify watching it.If you have read the book, you must have raised you eyebrows over my synopsis. Like I mentioned, the movie is based on the book only very loosely -- the story line is different and some key characters are missing or merged into one. The movie is certainly not a worthy screen rendition of the original, but it can still be enjoyed. If you've ever given thought to what it would take to bring the book to the screen, you'll be amused by the choices the filmmakers made. In my opinion, a few of these choices were successful -- as in the case of Korov'ev, in one case brilliant -- as in the case of Jesus, but in most cases poor, as in the case of Voland, most unfortunately. The costumes and the makeup belong in a period at least half-a-century earlier, the soundtrack seems largely random, and yet I don't regret having watched the movie. I would have hated it if it was silly -- but it's not, it's just wrong. And what better way to congratulate oneself on a superior interpretation of an artwork than to encounter someone else's serious yet ultimately flawed attempt to repeat it?"
No Sympathy for the Devil
James Ferguson | Vilnius, Lithuania | 05/30/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If the synopsis is any indication of the movie, then it is pretty far off from the literary classic. It wasn't a gulag, but a sanatorium that "Homeless" was sent to, after his confrontation with Woland, the devil, at the duck pond. Other than being a fellow writer, there wasn't much prior relationship between "Homeless" and the "Master." Their relationship developed in the sanatorium.
Bulgakov's novel is a black comedy of the Stalin years, during which time he was director of one of Moscow's famous theatres. This highly theatrical story satirizes just about every aspect of Stalinist Moscow,to the point that it never saw the light of day until the Khrushchev era, when a major thaw took place in the Soviet Union. The Master and Margarita made a huge impact, becoming part of the Russian literary canon. There have been several attempts to capture the novel in film and even on stage, the most recent being a ten-part television serial (January, 2006) by Bortko, who had previously done an excellent rendition of "The Heart of a Dog." But, unfortunately his adaptation (as faithful as it was) fell short of the original as well. Forget the movie and read the book."
Outdated and Unmoving Film
Oslo Jargo | FINLAND | 12/03/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Although the film deals with one of the best known Russian literature writers, the film itself fails on most accounts, namely because it does not deal with the tendency for times to change. With the expulsion of communist Russia, this film no longer has any prominent themes to explore and on top of that, it was done by an Italian filmed on the streets of Belgrade. It is very boring at times with unmotivated and stiff acting by most of the leads and it is a period piece. The ending was the only thing redeeming about it and I would just rate it as an average piece of work.....