“FIREBIRD”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

“FIREBIRD” is a love story that takes place in Russia during the Cold War.  The cinematography is top rate as is the acting particularly between the two male leads.The first hour is very slow moving as it sets up the story of Sergey, (Tom Prior) a private in the army who is impatient to get his service over with, to serve as Lieutenant  Roman’s, (Oleg Zagorodnii) driver and guide who plans to spend his life in service as a pilot and is new to the base. They start off sharing an interest in photography and Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya) a friend of Sergey’s and possibly a love interest for Roman. The latter, an important part of the story is not gone into (possibly because the true story book it is based on was written by Sergey Fetisov) though it takes place at a time that many men who knew or suspected that they were, or might be homosexual, got married to prove they weren’t and/or to make an appearance of being a family man to get promotions at work. It, also, could have held an interesting aspect that is very seldom approached in films.

Before I go any further let me say that I didn’t understand all the raves for this film which doesn’t handle sex problems and/or sex scenes that haven’t been handled before  better–especially the sex scenes–that first hour but then all of a sudden something happened but I can’t explain it! I was completely caught up in the lives of not only Sergey, Ramon and Luisa but, also, those around them, good and bad, and , yes, there are a couple of ‘villains’ in “Firebird”! I know I was crying the last 15 minutes—and I never apologize for crying in the movies–and was intrigued to the ‘what happened’ after credits!

This is basically the story from Sergey Festsov’s point of view and I would love to have known how Luisa felt after her discoveries or did Roman see what was happening to him  and did he care? With all that they were facing an epic love story turns into a melodrama and the slow pacing kills whatever emotions the people are feeling. The KBG officer who threatens Roman comes off as a comic of yesteryear and the flying scenes are wasted and the drama teacher who Sergey encounters in his pursuit of an acting career in Moscow adds nothing but ‘ham’ to the romance at the center of the film.

The film hits the romantic stride it was aiming for at the 1 hour and 15 minutes point and grabs you quickly into the story the film was trying to hit from the opening scene which is repeated and is meaningless the second time it is shown.

“Firebird” is not a ‘must see’ movie and I think it might be better on the small screen even if the scenic views yell for a theatre screen and it just might spur someone else to tell the story with a screenplay worthy of the leads but until then make time to see this version.

Posted May 13, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

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