Film Festival Reviews. Part 10.


Ivan the Terrible, the Tsar from the title, trusts noone and sees sinners everywhere, but still tries to lead his country as well as he can, taking the blame for the sins of his people. He repeatedly repents for his sins, but keeps ruling with an iron fist because he either feels he has to or because he’s just plain insane. In the start of his movie, he appoints his old friend (who is now a monk) as the new Metropolitan after the old one had left to live at a monastery.
The two friends spend pretty much the rest of the movie trying to convince each other either to forgive and be kind or that violence and strictness is needed to rule a nation. That’s two hours of Russian men kissing each others bearded cheeks and talking about god’s will.
Mixed in with these are some scenes from a battle in Poland, a few religious near-miracles, and a fascinating young orphan child.
When I saw this movie, a guy in the audience kept laughing at things that really weren’t supposed to be funny. When the Metropolitan told the Tsar that he was the guily one and that he was the one that should be judged, the Tsar replied “I forgive you. Judge yourself”, and the guy laughed. Sure, what the Tsar said was kinda witty and quick and a mean way of passively agressively punishing someone, but when you laugh at someone that powerful and deranged, you really undermine the entire feel of the movie for everyone else in the room.

Best part: When the Tsar gets dressed after having prayed, at the start of the movie.
Worst part: The opening scene of the fourth act felt very out of place.
Score: 4/5

posted 14 years ago