After recently reading and falling in love with the book, I started doing research into the filmed adaptations of the novel. I first watched the BBC adaptation from 2000, which impressed me, but I was somewhat disappointed by the amount of editing done to the story.
I, therefore, picked up this version with great anticipation, because it is much longer (10 hours) and I was hoping would therefore be a more fully realized version of the story.
Unfortunately, I barely made it through the first hour before turning it off and giving up on it.
The whole production felt too staged and unnatural for my taste. The actors looked like English 'thespians' dressed up in stock period costumes rather than Russian aristocrats. And they all more or less spoke in the same loud and clear stage voice making the conversations feel less intimate than I would have liked.
Camera-work and directing was mostly just like that of a noontime soap opera.
I'm sure that in 1977 this was perfectly acceptable, but nowadays, it is just not good enough to spend time watching. It certainly does no justice to what is often considered one of the greatest novels ever written.
If you are looking for a filmed adaptation of this story, stick with the more recent version from 2000. While it is a somewhat edited down version of the story, it is a much superior product that does a far better job of fully capturing the richness of Tolstoy's novel.
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