The other day, Marilyn asked if I had seen any movies lately.
No. I don’t enjoy the movie theater experience anymore, and I am generally listening to an audio book when I am home.
Then I thought, “I am turning into one of those people.” Not as bad as those who brag about not having a television, but still. So I grabbed the copy of Dr. Zhivago that I ordered after finishing the book a couple of months ago. Not exactly cramming for the Oscars, but it counts.
As an epic book-to-film, it was excellent. My primary criticism is that the film did not do well by Strelnikov. In particular, it cut a scene between him and Zhivago that did a lot to make Strelnikov more three-dimensional.
What the film did extremely well (what Omar Sharif did extremely well, actually) was make me believe in Zhivago the Poet as opposed to Zhivago the Doctor. He also made me believe that he loved his wife and he loved Lara. Although the affair in the Urals was so sharply edited that if I hadn’t read the novel I might not have bought it.
Rod Steiger totally hit the right notes as the opportunistic bastard who has a flash of conscience every once in awhile. Julie Christie was more pouty and less serene than I had imagined, but it was fine.
I am glad I took the time. And will now go back to my regularly scheduled book.