Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Watching War and Peace

I recently read this article, which told me ten things I should know about War and Peace.  One of the ten things is that it isn't really that long.  Anybody could read the book in ten days, claims the author.  Ten days?  I guess if you did nothing else.  It took me two months to read it, but then I had a full-time job at the time.  (Here's what I wrote when I finished reading it, and here's a more realistic view of how long it takes to read it, written by a guy who watched the first episode on TV and then tried to finish the book in time for the second episode.)

I didn't read the book in ten days, but I watched the six-part miniseries with my daughter in less than ten days.

(I got that photo from this article, entitled "War and Peace: Director Tom Harper on being nervous he has ruined the story and *that* nudity scene".)

You can see from the photo that the costumes are spectacular.  So much so that the men look a bit ridiculous to modern eyes, bedizened as they are with braid and sparkle.  But in addition to the clothes, the look of this series is just amazing.  The cinematography is gorgeous from beginning to end.  The casting is also great.  Best of all, this version leaves out Tolstoy's opinions on many, many things: Russia, Napoleon, bees, Russian peasants, History, etc.  When you take out all those hundreds of pages, you are left with the memorable characters and the wonderful story.  I'm glad I read the book, but I also really enjoyed the miniseries, and I recommend it.

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