And Quiet Flows the Don

This movie came on the TV one late evening.

I was mesmerized by the movie. It is a Russian movie with English subtitles. I could not move away from the TV and continued watching the unfolding landscape of Russia entwined with human emotions in the midst of miseries of war.

“And Quiet Flows the Don” movie is based on the famous novel “…and Quiet flows the Don” by Mikhail A. Sholokhov, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I am yet to read the book, but I will. It is a fascinating movie and I am sure the book would be even better than the movie.

I have always been fascinated by world war movies and historical movies. Soviet Russia has long been an intriguing country, and no experience in my life has been more thrilling than visiting Russia twice in the early Nineties, when it had just come out of its communist rule.

So, it was not surprising for me to be drawn to a Russian movie, I guess ! The scenery along the Don River was rural agrarian, not akin to what I saw in St Petersburg and Moscow. The unforgiving terrain of Russia and the Cossack life depicted in the movie was simply unforgettable. More than that the scenes of human passion and valour, family squabbles, the harshness of the Russian winters, et al, were shown in this movie with such splendour that I was captivated.

This is a long movie which requires lot of patience and understanding of Cossack culture. But for those who wish to be fascinated by a long bygone culture in a mysterious country, this is the movie to see.

The actors and the director have done a fabulous job, and the movie depicts human emotions in vivid colour. The World War I followed by the Russian Revolution and the continuous misery inflicted by the wars on the Cossacks is so well taken (though not in great detail) that this movie beats some of the best war movies from Hollywood.

I thought the Cossacks are tough warriors and bear the brutal impact of war and weather equally well, while masking their emotions. That may not be true – they are as human as others are, and the women show that very well in this movie. Gregori’s dad is another hot spot of emotions, who shows his anger against his son’s indiscretions rather well.

All in all, this is an amazing movie, and I would recommend that you see it.


Vijay Srinivasan
22nd January 2012


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