Bidding to be ‘The Russian
Saving Private Ryan
’, Fedor Bondarchuk’s film loosely retells the true story of Pavlov’s House: a single platoon that managed to hold a building,
-style, for a year against waves of Nazis.
It’s a cinematic no-brainer, of course, but one that is marred by Masha (Yanina Studilina), a fictional damsel in distress who becomes the soldiers’ reason to fight; which they do in stylised scenes that, while technically impressive, feel jarringly ‘cool’ for the film’s saccharine tone.
A solid enough war flick, but Spielberg doesn’t have too much to worry about yet.