“It’s wrong. You’ll be the first not to respect me now.”
In turn-of-the-century Russia, a married father (Aleksey Batalov) has an affair in Yalta with a newlywed young woman (Iya Savvina) who is equally unhappy in her marriage — but do the lovers have any chance of a life together?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Russian Films
- Star-Crossed Lovers
This adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s 1899 short story — helmed by Soviet director Iosif Kheifits (also known by the alternate spellings of Jossif Cheifiz, Yossif Cheifiz, Iosif Heifits, Josef Heifitz, Josif Hejfits, and I. Kheyfits) — tells a straightforward, beautifully shot tale of married lovers who don’t really have a chance at long-term happiness. Without having read Chekhov’s original story (or at least not in many years), I struggled to engage on a meaningful level with either of these protagonists, and found myself wondering what was going on in their minds as we see them clearly deeply reflecting on… something:
While Savvina is certainly beautiful to look at:
… and the couple’s time together is spent in gorgeous locales:
… there doesn’t really seem to be anywhere for this doomed tale to go.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Fine cinematography and sets
No, though it’s worth a one-time look if you’re a fan of the short story.