Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dr. Sleazevago

It’s odd to watch a movie again, decades after first seeing it. You’re surprised by the big chunks of it that you don’t remember at all as well as the scenes that you do remember quite well.

We just watched Dr. Zhivago, the original one with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, which we last saw back in the 60s, when it first came out. I remembered it the way it was received at the time, as a big-screen epic romance with lots of vast, snow-covered Russian landscape — which was actually Finnish, Canadian, and other landscape, because the Soviets refused to have anything to do with a movie made from a novel by an author who was persona non grata.

What I didn’t remember was what a dirtbag Yuri Zhivago was. Lara, his mistress, is only slightly better. Rather, she has a slight excuse for her behavior — her experience when she’s 17 — whereas Dr. Zh. has no excuse at all.

Just like two morally depraved movies that I despised, The English Patient and Like Water for Chocolate, this epic romance is really a celebration of sleaze. I have an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

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