Doctor Zhivago


It has been four hours but I can now say that I have watched Doctor Zhivago. The movie is three and a half hours long but you couldn’t expect me to watch this all at once. There were snack breaks, bathrooms breaks and Facebook breaks but I finally finished. My neck might take a while to recover from all this lying in the couch but my veredict for the movie is positive.

I watched the 2002 version, the one with Keira Knightly, and I am quite satisfied. Basically it is all I expected it to be: a very long Russian drama which, for me, is always an enjoyable option and a way to kill time until Anna Karenina comes to Spanish theaters. There is love, unrequited love, bad guys, good people standing on the way of happiness. It’s got all a good drama needs. I particularly enjoyed the political background because all I studied in school about Russia was the Russian Revolution but never what happened afterwards. I also read 1984 but I don’t think basing my knowledge of post-Revolutionary Russia on that book is completely fair. So, what I’m saying is that the movie provided an interesting and unsettling historical background.

Then I went on Wikipedia to find out a bit more about the novel and the history of Russia and discovered that this was a pretty controversial book at the time. The manuscript had to be smuggled out of Russia , because the soviet authorities considered it subversive, to be published in Italy in both Russian and Italian. It was an immediate success and Boris Pastermak was awarded the Nobel prize a year later. This didn’t make the U.S.S.R very happy which is why he didn’t attend the acceptance ceremony. That, however, didn’t change the fact Doctor Zhivago had become an international “best-seller”.

All of this just leads to one conclusion: I need to read the novel. Probably this summer because, with some luck, all the snow in the book will make the heat more bearable.


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