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The biggest problem I have with Tarkovsky is the tedious pace that he uses to tell his stories. Andrei Rublev has a lot going on in the film, and there are some quite active moments, so it didn’t quite bore me as much as I expected. He still takes his time, and loves to linger on a shot for much longer than necessary, but this movie didn’t have the stillness that I feared. One thing that I hate, and I see in many artsy films like Andrei Rublev, is the use of unclear symbolism and visual metaphors. I don’t pick up on that kind of thing well, and when it’s something as obtuse as random horses showing up in different scenes, I find myself getting annoyed rather than intrigued. One big example is the opening scene, which might be the most baffling opening of any film I’ve ever watched as it doesn’t seem to tie into the story at all, but I’m sure it does in some metaphorical way. Andrei Rublev is divided up into chapters which worked for me because it gave me good opportunities to stop the DVD periodically and do something I found more interesting before diving back in. However, I felt the movie lacked a good pace, because it was chopped up with these weird time and location jumps. I couldn’t connect the dots well to where Rublev was or what he was doing. I also found it terribly hard to differentiate one character from another. They all look so drab and have few distinguishing characteristics. And the story brings people back frequently, expecting you to know who that is and what they did before. Thankfully, I kept the Wikipedia plot description open the entire time I watched the film and that helped keep me on track with the story. It’s kind of odd that a film about a painter who is responsible for all the dynamic and colorful art we see at the end is told in such a bland black-and-white. The shots are clearly well-thought-out and could be stunning in full color, but Tarkovsky likes his palate full of grey. (At least it wasn’t the sepia he used in Stalker.) The oddest thing about Andrei Rublev was that the chapter I found most fascinating was the final one about the bellmaker where the titular character is just a bit part. This felt like a full film in itself, and I was astounded by some of the work they put into recreating the complex bellmaking procedures. It’s not something we think about all that much in our industrial age, but there was so much intense and complex labor necessary to construct things of that magnitude. But, overall, Andrei Rublev remained yet another Tarkovsky film that did little to interest me.
Andrei Rublev is an archetypal Tarkovsky picture for better and for worse. It's a technical marvel owing to his phenomenal direction, a highly realistic depiction of its time period and absolutely amazing, artistic black-and-white photography. The various discussions and conversations are also reliably interesting and sophisticated. But the movie is simply way too slow and tedious at three and half hours plus the characterization is weak and the focus is definitely lacking. In the end, I respect this film a lot, but I honestly don't love it.
a poetic masterpiece. maybe the greatest film ever made
An epic and yet intimately human masterpiece.
Often times you can feel a 3-hour runtime, but this was not the case for me watching Andrei Rublev. Most of the scenes are just pure Tarkovsky gold, especially the fourth chapter.
Good but not quite the masterpiece I was expecting.
The life and times of Andrei Rublev, Russian iconographer of the early-15th century. Over seven periods in his life, spanning 1400 to 1424, we see the history of Russia, the power struggles, the role of the church and religion and Rublev's dedication to his calling.
A bit difficult to review this movie. It is clearly the work of a master craftsman: the exquisite cinematography, the sheer scale of the subject matter and time period, the themes, the obvious adoration director Andrei Tarkovsky has for his subject.
Yet it is often quite a grind to watch: clocks in at well over 3 hours and moves very slowly. Several scenes will go by without development in plot or theme. Furthermore, the separate time periods don't necessarily form a narrative. They often just feel like things happening, with no connection between them.
While acknowledging that the film is well made, I fail to see how it is so highly regarded. I did not come away feeling that I had just watched a masterpiece, something incredibly profound or moving.
I would listen to any argument suggesting that Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev" is the greatest of all films. It is perhaps the greatest that art-house cinema has ever offered. It captures the viewer and puts them in a state of awe and wonder, that I have only experienced twice before: Once in Dreyer's "Passion of Joan of Arc,'' and then Herzog's "Aguirre: The Wrath of God." It's on that level of greatness. It is dark but beautiful; exhausting but worth it in every way
The film is about a 15Th century Russian artist named Andrei Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsin). Set in medieval Russia, the film is divided into seven different chapters that spans twenty-four years. He struggles through great spiritual turbulence, and then awakening. He witnesses many atrocities being done onto people; mostly during a brutal Tarter raid where men, women, children and animals are tortured, raped and murdered. Andrei commits what he sees as a horrible sin when he kills a Tarter to save a young girl from being raped. He then loses his passion for art, becomes a Monk, and abstains from speaking for several years.
I was horrified by some of the images and sounds of this film. Seeing what human beings are capable of makes you question the nature of humanity. While watching the film, I wrote down in my notes "why are we so cruel?" But don't let these scenes be a deterrent from seeing this great film. Yes, they are hard to sit through; but you'll be glad you did once you get to the end.
The film's ending is about as beautiful as any I've seen: the screen turns from black & white to color to show us the beautiful paintings from the actual Andrei Rublev -- who was without a doubt a great artist. His paintings, and how the film presents them in the form of a montage will possibly move you to tears.
Here we see the work of a man who has been through spiritual and mental torture; and witnessed much physical torture of others---to the point where he does not even flinch when screams are heard. He now has made peace with his suffering, through his art, in which his emotions were from those terrible days were finally expressed in full form. It was as if the entire film was one long breath, and the ending was an exhale of emotions.
Films for me are similar to dreams. I've had countless throughout my life but only remember a small percentage; an even smaller percentage sticks with me -- and becomes a part of who I am as a person; "Andrei Rublev" is one of the very few films to which this applies.
Andrei Rublev is not one for the average viewer. While fantastic in film editing, Tarkovsky’s film feels aimless and not really give much for the main character, in fact he disappears in his own movie!
Having seen all works by Tarkovsky, this one being the last, I think this is his best film, most emotional, his later works were more estranged than this one. This depiction of the XV century is the experience you don't want to miss. It's a waste of words to try to describe at least a small bit what this movie is trying to tell, what Tarkovsky had in mind. It must be watched.
Definire film un'opera simile sarebbe alquanto riduttivo e fuorviante. Andrei Rublev è un'opera d'arte di estrema difficoltà che cerca di raccogliere tutta la ramificata filosofia di un artista con una visione sul mondo singolare e fuori dal comune. Il risultato è di una pesantezza esagerata e richiede la massima concentrazione, che troppo spesso si perde davanti a immagini lente, pesanti e cariche di significato. Nonostante questo, il messaggio e il motivo che ha spinto il regista a creare un'opera simile sono chiari lungo tutte le sequenze più importanti, che colpiscono lo spettatore grazie ad immagini che parlano da sole. Sono quest'ultime le protagoniste di tutte le tre ore di film: immagini incredibilmente potenti che continuano a stupire anche dopo 50 anni dalla sua uscita. Non è certo un film che consiglierei al pubblico più convenzionale, ma con la giusta pazienza e dedizione si riesce apprezzare il film per quello che è stato e che sarà in futuro, un pezzo d'arte inestimabile che merita di essere ricordato come un grande capolavoro del passato.