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  1. Published on: 11/08/2019 03:33 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: The story of Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev's defection to the West.

    I know some generations will be aware of the Rudolf Nureyev, but I am definitely not one of them.

    So my unawareness of the story and the fact that Ralph Fiennes was directing was enough for me to check this out.

    Most of the film I felt had solid development within its story and characters. The authenticity of the period setting and the dancing was particularly noticeable and felt like the most impressive aspect.

    As the build-up to the final act approached, I did notice the quality of acting had somewhat gone down a bit. Then when we got to the scene that is the centrepiece of the story that I felt was executed rather over-dramatic and almost felt like something that I would normally see in a middle-of-the-road soap opera.

    But by the end of it, I had certainly experienced enough content in there to understand the importance of this real-life story.

    I really liked that they used actual dancers for even the main roles. So props to lead actor Oleg Ivenko for his effort in both his physical and acting aspects. But if I had to compare it with your regular leading actors, it was not up to their high-quality. However, he and his supports certainly made up for it in the dancing sequences which really made me appreciate an art-form that I have never really had a liking for.
    The way the camera just backs off and lets us see the physical efforts required to make it look effortless and graceful was really quite a sight.
    It also made me appreciate the discipline required to something that can look painful to outsiders.

    Another big strength that I mentioned was the late 50's-early 60's period setting. It looked very authentic and even the camera filter at times made it look like archive footage.

    Ivenko's on-screen development with Ralph Fiennes' and Adele Exarchopoulos' characters felt particularly engaging and certainly kept my interest when we didn't have ballet sequences.

    But I think the underwhelming final act had me feeling that this was a perfectly fine film, but nothing more than that. The execution of the dancing was great to watch and the even the sound design of the floorboards really enhanced the effort everyone was putting into those moments.
    Apart from that, I think every other department did everything to a satisfactory level and made a solid viewing experience.
    I wouldn't call this a must watch. But if you feel intrigued by this true story and want to no more about it, then watching won't make you feel disappointed.

    Rating: 7/10

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