There’s a great deal of irony when it comes to Sunday night’s new installment of “War and Peace” on the BBC. So many people had been waiting for the war on the show to break out, and yet, we think that the show has more personal power in the peace. Those subtle conversations are what really strike us.
Take, for example, the brief scene between Natasha and Pierre. It was poignant, simple, and very effective in its purpose: Making it clear just what his feelings for her were, while at the same time him having the restraint to not make a move on it.
As Napoleon’s army came closer and closer to Russia, the series’ focus shifted to more of the front lines … and they were bloody. The BBC’s not one to really get this graphic, but the purpose here was clear: To show the horrors of the battlefield, and the sacrifice of those who chose to protect the people within the country. The culmination of this was watching a battered, bloodied Anatole and Andrei come to some sort of silent forgiveness and understanding despite all that happened.
Whether it be the touches with Pierre on the battlefield in the closing minutes or the epic battlefield or the quiet reminders of what life was like elsewhere, we’re amazed at just how much “War and Peace” has fit in from the Tolstoy book without cheapening or shortening anything too much. It’s an extraordinary series, and one that still does have one more story to deliver on. We just have to wait and see if they’ll be capable of nailing it. Grade: A-.
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