Turetskii gambit

Turetskii gambitWatched “Turetskii gambit” on DVD.

Directed by: Dzhanik Faiziyev
Genres: War, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
Cast: Yegor Beroyev, Olga Krasko, Marat Basharov, Vladimir Ilyin, Dmitri Pevtsov, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Aleksandr Baluyev, Aleksei Guskov, Yuri Kutsenko, Andrei Krasko, Leonid Kuravlyov, Yevgeni Lazarev, Didier Bienaim, Viktor Bychkov, Sergei Gazarov, Anatoli Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Lykov, Daniel Olbrychski
IMDB raintg: 7.2
My rating: 6.0 [rate 6.0]

Russian cinematography is getting lots of hype recently. Lots of money are going in and thus each and every movie that comes out gets a lot of publicity. “Turetskii gambit” is no exception.

For some time I’ve been very negative about Russian movies and even went as far as promising not to watch any of the new ones. As many of you know, I am not very good at keeping my promises. I am a curious type and even if I wasn’t, it is somewhat hard to stand away from all the noise. And if all of that wasn’t enough, my mother sent me the DVD with “Turetskii gambit” streight from Moscow (although DVD has signs all over it saying “Not for sale in Moscow”).

I’ll say it upfront – the film turned out to be better than I expected. It is a good war action based on an interesting story. The main disadvantage of most Russian movies – dark, sucking in, moods – are gone completely. The movie is britght and light.

With all the money that are going into the Russian cinematography it is impossible not to get better, and so it does. With each movie the progress is obvious. Things get better.

Turetskii gambit” has some excellent computer graphics. Really. Very good. The problem was that half of them weren’t appropriate and were disturbing. But the other half was much appreciated.

Camera work improved dramatically. And I mean all aspects of it – movement, camera switching, scenery and portraiture. It got to the point when it is nice to look at.

The story deserves a point too. I’ve been disappointed by a number of movies which try to emulate Hollywood action movies about mafia and dirty cops. Stories about millioners aren’t working either. “Turetskii gambit“, on the other hand, is based on a nice historical novel written by a famous modern Russian writer Boris Akunin. The story takes place during the Russian-Turkish war at the end of 19th century. This period of time is distant enough to be interesting, but close enough to have some connections to the present times.

These all were good parts of the film. Now on to the bad ones.

Acting. Most of the actors in the film don’t know the meaning of the word. Some of the people appear natural, some are not, but none of them actually acted. All of them were leveled though and could have been not noticed if not for Olga Krasko. She did such a terrible job that all the other people were alienated immediately. She practically squeezed every word out. Yuck… Brrr…

Screenplay. Both the story and the screenplay were done by Boris Akunin. While the story was good, the screenplay had its problems. Mostly these were dialogs and continuity.

Sound. I’m not a sound guru or anything, but even I noticed some holes. Soundtrack was missing in some places, where it was needed. Because of this drama wasn’t built and the scenes went by unimportantly. Also, closing titles had a song which didn’t suit the film at all. And the quality of sound during some speeches wasn’t that good – echos and everything.

Anyway, overall the film was rather good. I’d vote for a 6 out of 10 and will have some hope for the future movies too. And that, I’ll tell you, is quite a change.

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