In my opinion dramatisations ought, if possible, to be watched in the author's mother tongue. The wonderful thing about Amazon is it offers this opportunity. As a Tolstoy fan it was so exciting to come across this DVD of a Russian film adaptation.
The film is mezmorising, lavish, elegant, magnificenty acted and of prime importance, faithful to the novel...watching is akin to reading the tome page by page. Watching Pierre, Natalya, Mary, Elizabeth, Boris, Sonya et al. come to life on the screen and the whole vista of the lost world of aristocratic Imperial Russia - the private palaces, the balls, the White Nights over the Neva as the last candles dim in the windows of the Winter Palace, the grandeur and dignity of the Church headed by an Orthodox Tsar, emblazoned landaux gracefully driving on the Boulevards and 'Prospyekti' of 'MOCKBA' and Petersburg, pastel coloured country houses in the central steppes, romantic walks in dappled sunshine beneath the silver birches - gives a tingle down your spine, especially, for Russophones, given that the drama is played out for us in the languid, poetc tones of the beautiful Russian tongue.
This ephemeral world is sharply contrasted against the background of Napoleon's invasion of the Russian Motherland - the horror, the necessity and conversely the futility, the suffering, anguish , heartache - all redolant of our own age..... - are played to Tolstoy's score, perfectly.
I cannot rate this more highly - whether you be a Tolstoyan, a student of Russian, a sociologist, historian or just a fan of costume dramas - then this is for you - a melange of Jane Austen, Mrs.Gaskell, Mesdames Bronte, Ibsen and Chekhov!
No, quite simply - LeO Tolstoy at his bardic best in what has to be the quintessential screen adaptation of 'War and Peace'.