The Unbearable Lightness of Being Reviews
March 4, 2015
Kaufman's film catches a lot of the light found in Kundera's novel. There is also the living agony that can be found in betrayal and commitment to people, to ideas, to hopes. At no point in its almost three hours, does one abandon hope or wish for any of this film's life to still.
June 24, 2014
gr8 cast gr8 story historical drama of sorts
November 3, 2013
Seductive and mesmerizing.
May 27, 2014
The book is a 10/10, the movie is a 3/10
April 7, 2014
it wasent a complete waste of time because the characters do keep you interested but its pretty dull.
January 11, 2014
The Unbearable Lightness of Being is an unforgettably moving and engrossing drama full of incredible career-making performances. The film traces the love triangle between womanizing Prague surgeon Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis), naive photographer Tereza (Juliette Binoche), and vivacious artist Sabina (Lena Olin) in Communist Czechoslovakia. Although the film may be slow-paced, it's never boring and absolutely always gripping, thanks to a thoughtful and intelligent script and spectacular acting from all three lead actors. Juliette Binoche is especially great in her breakthrough performance, and her character has a certain child-like innocence and devotion that clashes with Tomas' sexual promiscuity and polygamous tendencies. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is more incredible and moving than you could possibly imagine, and is an absolute must-see movie.
January 7, 2014
The tale of a love triangle between a womanizing Czech doctor, a seductive artist and a sexually naïve girl set in Prague in the late sixties during the Soviet Invasion. Milan Kundera's masterpiece novel was deemed by many unfilmable, but Kaufman, within limitations, was still able to make a good, stylish, sexy and worthy adaptation. The stand out sequence is the documentary styled one which reproduces the cruel realities of the invasion.
December 21, 2013
I guess for someone whose a fan of directors like Billy Wilder and Robert Altman, this film was just too artsy for me. I wasn't a fan of the disjointed plotline, preachy dialogue, and slow pace. Even if Daniel Day-Lewis lead the cast.
July 28, 2013
A ménage à trois of sorts between a PUA doctor, the only woman who ever really understood him and an innocent girl, who's not so fragile after all and who he falls in love with, all living and eventually escaping the difficult times of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in the late 60s and finally finding true happiness in the simplest things, but.. After almost 3 hours I still wished it would keep going its leisurely pace.
December 6, 2013
Lena Olin is great, and totally makes this film for me. Juliette is also pretty great, love how weird she is throughout this film.
November 16, 2013
After viewing Philip Kaufman's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," I was perplexed. Only after reading about it did I have a better understanding of its three central characters. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Tomas, a doctor and a womanizer; Juliette Binoche is Tereza, a waitress who then becomes a photographer; Lena Olin plays Sabina, who is Tomas' closest sexual partner and as the film suggests understands him more than anyone else, both enjoy sex together but do not attach any emotional bonds to each other. The film is adapted from the novel of the same name (which I have not read) and is set in Czechoslovakia, in the late 1960s when the Russians invade the country.
Kaufman's direction is very smooth, he goes from one significant event to another with ease, including the introduction of new characters. Binoche delivers the best performance from a great cast, she is a child and a woman at the same time, and is so incredibly charming in her vulnerability. I don't wish to reveal her position in the film and her relationship with the two other characters. Although I've read about the nuances of the film's characters, I still have a difficult time fully understanding them in my head, particularly Tomas. He is a mystery to me, Sabina is in between, and Tereza opens her heart to the viewer (preferably me). Also I'm not sure why Kaufman doesn't provide any background or family relations, we only get to see Tereza mention her mother; we never actually see her. It's the only reason I can think of that prevents it from being a great film; Kaufman's decision to never explain anything or to at least make things clearer. I am all for films that don't spoon-feed, and this reason I am specifying isn't necessarily a complaint. I enjoyed a lot. It's ending shot is one of most serene you'll ever see.
P.S. Erland Josephson and Stellan Skarsgard have minor roles and Juliette Binoche's dog in the movie is named Kerenin after Anna Karenina's husband from Leo Tolstoy's novel of the same name. The dog is actually a female.
August 28, 2013
Well acted and well made movie. When I read the book long ago, i pictured the dreams Theressa used to have with extreme, scary subtlety...so, the dream part was less than the way I have visualized it... and I was very scared thinking whether the movie would turn out more like a half-porn... But the director is real good! He captured the beauty, the philosophy, the history, the true colour of each characters and captured the novel to the full! it's a beautiful work!
August 17, 2013
Avoids trying to cope with the novel's peculiar and fascinating definition of the word "kitch" but otherwise a terrific adaptation.
August 4, 2013
An alternative way of reading a book!
August 2, 2013
"The only place we can find beauty is if its persecutors have overlooked it."
Now *this* is a sexy film, holy smoke- there's just sex everywhere. Daniel Day-Lewis has all the sex in this film. All. The. Sex. Anyway, there's more going on, namely politics and talking, yeah, those.
It's a long film but it didn't feel as long as it is- when a film gets to a certain length the slow pacing actually makes it feel a bit shorter than if it were three hours always going full-speed or two hours always at a snail's pace. That doesn't mean that the length isn't noticeable though- it is but it never feels right to punish a film for being long since that just means there's more of it and thus more to enjoy, in theory anyway.
I'd say that it is practice in this case too thanks to the strong acting, good writing and interesting story. It's very atypical of its genre, which I deem to be 'horny'. It has the drama, romance and relationships too at its heart rather than being a movie all about sex.
The other themes make for the back-drop and they are as stereotypically from-a-book (which was indeed the source material) as it comes. Set during the Prague Spring we have the common themes of escape, constant threat and deception to fit with the relationships involved, the key one being that between Tomas and Tereza.
Nothing feels very new about this one- a three-way relationship, a dog, jealousy- it's predictable in ways. The length actually helps make that from being an issue by having a lot of stuff going on in between these things- it keeps it flowing, even if that ultimately leads to the end feeling a bit undercooked because maybe hitting the three-hour mark in a romance would be going a bit far(?)
What does make this different is clear enough from its title alone- it's pretty well-delivered. The title comes from a Nietzschean concept that claims all of the world's events have already occurred and will continue to do so over and over again and thus the experience of life is a burdensome one. The lightness in the title suggests that in fact we only live one life and the sex throughout helps to suggest that love and lust are also light and often occur randomly, rather than being set in stone from the get-go.
The 'unbearable' likely refers to the fact that such conditions cannot be sustained and end in death but one could also argue that it represents the downsides of such a fickle way of existing and Tereza's emotions would give that argument some strength.
My point is that, the thought that went into the title went into this film also. Apparently, it takes a different approach to the book (the author vowed never to allow another film portrayal of his' works due to the different approach of this one to the original work) and I haven't read the book so I can't really say for myself but if the book is a fleshed-out version of this then I can only imagine that it's worth-reading. The detail here feels substantial and there feels like stand-out moments, the kind that only a book has the space to write and a film to work around.
The author stated that the film doesn't represent the spirit of the novel and I guess that means that the novel works on a deeper-level as its title would suggest. It may very well have been the right choice for the film not to go down that route though because failing to portray such ideas could be disastrous and by concentrating more on human relationships, by being more small-scale if you will, then this film gets the space it needs to be successful.
All that being said though, the film could have done with some re-working, it isn't as emotionally-involving as it should be and it is a little too consistent and static in its tone meaning that, even with strong performances, it lacks the necessary emotion at times.
It's a good film but no, it isn't the most interesting thing you'll ever find. It does however do a fantastic job in being sexy without substituting drama or depth to do so. Recommended if you are the kind who can take on a near-three-hour film, otherwise, I'd give it a miss as I can't imagine this film being particularly memorable or worthwhile if you can't stay connected enough to pick up those good, unique moments that pop up here and there.
February 17, 2013
Good But not Great...it seemed to be going for ever and ever without concluding anything specific..! Sex,Politics,Outrage,Love have all been mashed up which really do not solve much purpose sole being Entertainment..!
February 8, 2013
When a film is known for it's eroticism, it usually ends up being a film without substance. However, Kaufman's film makes it seem artful and purposeful with it's relation to politics, freedom, and relationships. For a three hour long movie, it did not seem that long and made me appreciate the complexity of the film.
February 4, 2013
Love, sex, politics, growth - a lot is packed into this movie. I do agree with those who think the film is a little long.
January 8, 2013
Awesome awesome movie...in that late 80's "let's try to make a movie that's actually good" sort of way. DDL makes it funky, like almost always, and Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin are equally great. Drags a smige at times, but otherwise worth checking out if acting/character-based films are your thing.
January 2, 2013
The unbearable lightness of being is an unbearable movie, it's quite boring, too long. While I was seeing it I thought there were like 4 different stories with the same characters. I never sympathized with none of the characters and I never got involved with this plot.