?Reminiscent of Lord of the Rings? ?Sunday HeraldAfter the brutal slaughter of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family, Russia descends into chaos. Guided by faith and mysticism, Andrey, the only witness to the massacre, transfo... more »rms himself from servant to cavalier and sets off on a quest to save Princess Ksenia, the missing daughter of Godunov. Andrey joins forces with Prince Pozharski, the people?s army leader, and faces down the Polish army in an explosive, blood-soaked battle for Moscow.Includes Over 45 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Bonus Material:
1612 mixes history with mystical and legendary elements
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 03/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1612 takes place during the time of troubles in Russia and is loosely based on history. It could be called the "time of troubles" not only because a foreign army is occupying the country, but also because there isn't clear leadership to bring them out of the mess. The film doesn't try to be a strict historical film but an adventure that will capture the hearts of the audience. The movie mixes history with mystical and legendary elements; namely, one reoccurring subject is that of unicorns. Even with that said, I could say with a straight face that it doesn't go too far with this into fairly tale land as most parts with unicorns are in dreams or visions.
Polish invaders murdered the royal family but the Polish Hetman (Michal Zebrowski) spared the life of Princess Kseniya, whom he loves and sees as a way to become Czar himself. Andrei (Pyotr Kislov), who also loves Kseniya, ends up as a servant and then mercenary of the Polish Hetman, witnessed the murders and makes it his goal to overthrow the invaders and free the Princess. The love triangle between the three is the crux of much of the conflict.
The villains of this story are the Poles, who wear armor with wings giving them the look of angels, but they strike with fierceness that is more demonic than angelic. Interestingly enough, the Polish Hetman is actually a famous Polish actor, which adds a bit to the realism to the film. To some degree this film is anti-Polish in nature and is not entirely historically accurate but we are reminded that this movie isn't a documentary from time to time by the unicorns. Even with that said, I still think the movie is a lot of fun.
1612 rivals the best historical films in both story and special effects. The action doesn't slow down between the duels, skirmishes, and sieges. I think 1612 particularly excels in showing cannon warfare, in which there is quite a bit of in this movie. I would say 1612 would get an "R" rating by American standards for showing some nudity and quite a bit of violence that doesn't spare us the goriness of war. "
Legend, epic...in a grand tradition
Compusurge | New York City | 03/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based in history, 1612 tells the true tale, which has now grown into legendary proportion, of the fight for Russia in the early 1600's after the country fell into choas following the murder of the czar and his family. With a 'cast of thousands' portrayal, and mysticism cast throughout, the tale is centered on the saving of a young princess by a young boy. However, the epic battles compete with the best epic battles in film history, and the stunning filming is simply glorious to experience.
If you are a fan of history, this is a spectacular epic to view. If you are a fan of epic battles, this is a must-see experience, from the heated cannonballs to the man-to-man fighting.
1612 was sanctioned by and underwritten by the Kremlin, so important a film it was to be created."
Brash mixture of raw adventure, cliches, and exotic novelty
Ted Byrd | 07/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this movie even though I'm quite convinced it suffers from severe credibility flaws if considered as authentic historical drama.
On the positive side, it is a vigorous tale of raw adventure where an unlikely underdog mounts an effective opposition to oppressive and seemingly invincible overlords. Although this theme has been worked countless times, I think this Russian film brings a freshness and vitality to the subject which hasn't often been achieved by Hollywood.
There is enough of the mystical Russian element brought in to add a unique twist, but not enough to belabor the point. For instance the monk with visionary gifts who chained himself to the top of a tower until the "time of troubles" should end. There is other symbolism as well, such as the ladybugs and the unicorn, though I don't know if those have to do with Russian folklore or are merely fantasy.
One aspect of the movie which probably is historically authentic is the gruesome results of warfare in the early 1600's. The ghastly way in which people get blown to smithereens by cannonballs or get limbs hacked off by swords was realistic enough to jangle my nerves, although many people may be so jaded to special effects by now that this is old hat.
As an admirer of Russian cinema, particularly late Soviet cinema, I recognized two of the elements I am partial to in Russian film: The first is energetic portrayals that, at their best, convey a sense of passionate exuberance without overacting. The second is a more democratic presentation of the whole cast, where even minor characters seem more vivid than in American films. In this film I enjoyed some of the minor characters, such as the Spanish mercenary with his intriguing combination of courtly charm and deadly intent. Visually, I thought this was quite a colorful and engaging spectacle.
On the less positive side, there were cliches aplenty in the film, such as the hero who rose from slavery to almost become tsar and his unfulfilled love for the tsarina who barely knows he exists, but for whom he is nevertheless prepared to risk and suffer all. Frankly this romantic element seemed rather tiresome to me. Then there is the perennial villain, who is totally despicable, with not an ounce of good in him. We have also the simply unbelievable acts of derring-do which might be appropriate to a fantasy film, but are not credible in the context of historical drama - such as constructing a cannon out of leather or enduring countless heavy lashes on one's back without uttering a sound.
On the whole, I think its better to take this movie as being an epic fantasy adventure and enjoying it as such. There are no doubt echoes of the realities of those times in this story, but they seem too distorted by magnifications to take that aspect seriously. So while I enjoyed watching the movie once, its lack of any real depth would keep me from being a repeat viewer."
Action on an Epic Scale
The Movie Man | Maywood, New Jersey USA | 05/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""1612" is a sprawling epic in the mold of "Braveheart" and "Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan." Russia is facing its bloodiest conflict. As a volunteer army faces off against Polish-Lithuanian invaders, the Russian government lies in shambles. The assassination of Tsar Boris Gudunov, his young wife, and his son and heir has thrown Russia into a relentless power struggle. The only witness to the murder of the Tsar's family is a young servant boy, Andrey. Infatuated with the Tsar's beautiful daughter, Ksenia, Andrey hopes she might still be alive amid the chaos that has become the norm in Moscow. As lawlessness rages while power passes from one usurper to the next, Andrey sets off to find the missing princess. The personal story of Andrey's quest against the background of violent anarchy makes for an exciting action drama that depicts the physical and emotional toll of war on the common man. The Widescreen edition contains more than 40 minutes of bonus extras, including a making-of featurette."
Now, this is a movie !!.....and not a wannabee
Andre Villemaire | Canada | 02/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For me to read subtitles...it has to be not just a good movie but a great one, one that will not give me the chance of falling asleep .... And for this jewel of a movie...it did'nt give me the chance. What we have here is told in the trouble days of Russia where there was no real leadership and all wanted to rule..Poles...Russians.... And when you want to rule, blood will be spilled and pain will take over the land. In this movie you have great armies...great costumes...great acting...and great battles. There is lots of gore...but well done. What makes the story even better, is that we have a good guy and a bad guy. You really want the good one to win, even with the incredible odds againts him. Also the movie passes the 2 hour mark, so it has time to give you all its has. Once finished with the movie, by checking out the extras you can see a bit on how they made this movie.....great directing.....great casting.....