Come and See (Idi i smotri) Reviews
After a boy finds an old rifle, he decides to enter WW2. However, he finds that it is much more horrifying than he imagined and he experiences the horrors of it.
What really makes this film so violent is that a mostly young cast is experiencing and acting in this. This movie has some of the most powerful massacre sequences ever put on screen. Rape is often described as forcing someone to have sex in cinema. But this movie doesn't need to be graphic in order to be powerful. In this movie, it is seen as hate-fueled violence being committed against other people. Unlike other movies, you cannot imagine the women in Come and See ever healing from their scars.
This movie's ending is my favorite scene in the film. It can be interpreted many different ways. For example, you could interpret it as Florya learning that eliminating the source of the enemy won't lead him to any resolution. It won't stop humanity's insatiable first to commit war crimes during times of moral depletion. There are many other interpretations to this scene as well.
Going off topic for a bit, whoever thinks that this movie contains propaganda are clearly prejudiced against this movie simply because it was produced in the Soviet Union. Those people are the same ones who wouldn't raise a single finger if this was produced in their country. If you still think that this film is propaganda then you need to watch it with a far more critical eye. Propaganda films should make war look like fun. They should make people want to join the war. They should glorify the acts of killing and ridicule of the enemy. Kubrick even made a parody of this in 1987's Full Metal Jacket. There was probably much more propaganda in 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan then there was in this entire movie which is nearly 2 1/2 hours long. Come and See makes your stomach turn every second. It makes you feel disgusted just at the thought of war. It is by far the most effective anti-war film ever made.
So in conclusion, this movie is the most effective anti-war film of all time. Everything in the movie is perfectly done. It displays some of the most powerful massacre scenes in cinema and it handles violence expertly.
But Elem Klimov's masterwork 'Come and See' (1985) takes you into a nightmarish journey of the incurable wrath of Humanity. Depicting the massacre of Belarus villagers by the Nazi army through hand held shots, atmospheric set designs and relentless performances by the lead characters brings the anit-war message to such depths that one might have never experienced it through film before.
'Come and See' (1985) is truly a masterwork of Soviet cinema. One of the best anti-war films ever made.
The film follows Florya, a Belorussian partisan, as he travels across Belarus, fighting, surviving, and witnessing the horrors of war.
Let's start with the positive. The film's imagery is brutal. We're talking "You won't sleep for days" levels of brutal. The highlight of the film is a scene where the Nazis force the residents of a village into one big building and set it ablaze. This scene is horrifying and uneasy in all the right ways.
However, it's the beginning that brings the film down. In the beginning, our main character (played wonderfully by Alexei Kravchenko) finds a gun from a dead soldier, his entry token to the partisan group. There, he befriends a woman (Olga Mironova) who gets left behind by the group a long with him. The two form a bond, but this part of the film feels a little weird. It's difficult to quite place a finger on it, but these scenes feel off and a tad disjointed from where the film ultimately wants to end up.
There are a lot of close-ups in this film. All of the ones on Kravchenko work. All of the ones on Mironova make you think she's about to murder someone in the dead of night. It's unnerving and not in the way the film wants you to be unnerved. Towards the end, the film uses archive footage of deaths camps and a unique sequence showing Hitler's rise to power in reverse order as Florya shoots mercilessly at a photo of Adolf Hitler. That part is pretty great.
It's a harrowing, unflinching, and difficult movie to watch. It does get much better as it goes on, though.