Saturday, 16 April 2011

Brestskaya krepost - Brest Fortress

2010 by Alexander Kott

The Fortress which was about 100 years old by second world war changed hands of ownership many times before it was rested by Soviets. 22 June, 1941, on the very first day of the German invasion of USSR, the fort came under attack as Brest fort housed many Soviet military units and their families. They knew war was around but it all started suddenly with huge aerial bombing by the Germans. The whole army are seperated into few small units and this make their task of fighting back even difficult. Still, all got together put in a great fight for about 9 days. They did not have any back up, electricity, food or even water, but they fought unto death.

The movie is told through a child, who was part of the military orchestra, who witnessed the whole war and grow into a war veteran visiting the memorial at Brest.

Some would say, the story is very similar to Pearl Harbour, which I thought was a very bad movie, only smokes and flames and people running around, I could not complete that movie in theatre. But, Bestskaya Krepost, is one of the very best war movies I have ever seen. Excellent depiction of everything the script come across. Brilliant scenes unfold one after another that as the British would say it is bloody brilliant.

Brilliant settings, cinematography which can be told poetic inspite of shooting war mostly, all supported by excellent production values, and some brilliant performances by some of the recognisable faces who keeps repeating on the script, all brilliantly directed. A negative is that, other than for the fact that the fort is being attacked and the people are fighting the enemy and getting killed, there is no further development on the story. It is all about the valiant efforts of the people inside the fort. Nothing else. But at the same time, that is exactly what makes this movie even special. It still keeps you engaged through out for the whole length, slightly long by European standards - 130+ minutes, is a great achievement. Brestskaya Krepost does not show any drama or love with just war as the back ground, it is just showing the struggle of the human beings, forced to be engaged actively, in war.

I am not even able to list a couple of brilliant scenes, as I think there are too many of them.

When I was lead to this movie, I read comments by many, especially fellow Americans and British that this movie is well taken but is Soviet propaganda. I thought it has little propaganda than most western war movies.  I find American propaganda, sometimes even in their romantic comedies, that they accuse soviet propaganda on this movie, was quite funny.