A Great Watch: War & Peace (BBC 2016)

I think it’s safe to say I am a Russophile at this point in my life. I have always been fascinated by the country, the people, the culture, and especially the History. I have a degree in modern Eastern European History, and most of my bookshelf is non-fiction Russian History.

A few years ago, I started to give Russian fiction a try, with some Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and branched out with some Solzhenitsyn and Zamyatin. I haven’t gotten through all of them as of yet, and sad to say I started War & Peace and gave up (but I will restart it!). However, I found the lazy person’s version: a miniseries!

I found this on YouTube, for free, which was awesome in it’s own right. The quality of production and cast is tops though. Paul Dano is very underrated in my opinion, and shines in this as Pierre Buzukhov, and the rest of the cast is great as well.

It’s one of the few series/movies/video games I have gotten into a lot, like did not want it to end and am still thinking about it almost a month later. There’s a few pieces of media like this that have grasped my attention so strongly. I wanted to see more, and know more, and while I was able to do this with something like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, because the expanded universe is wide and deep, this is a hard stop. But I think that’s what makes it so great.

Great art is supposed to do that to you though. I can think of a few paintings and sculptures I have seen years ago that stick with me, and stories, movies, and series are the same. The story was obviously a masterpiece, but it can easily be ruined by bad directors, producers, and actors. This was not the case with the BBC’s version. I wanted to know so much more about these characters and their lives, but, ironically, it has done a great job in making me want to restart the book.

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