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A well crafted film with an evocative soundtrack.
on 13 April 2008
Directed by Ralph's sister Martha, this family affair is a beautifully made film. This look of this film is all light and dark; the white of the Russian winter and wide expanses of countryside compared with the claustrophobic darkness of many of the interiors. However the subtext of the main story of unrequited love is distinctly in shades of grey.
Young St Petersburg aristo Onegin (Fiennes) is left a country estate in his Uncle's will. Tired of the city, he begins to enjoy the country, forming a friendship with neighbour Lensky, and meeting the enigmatic Tatyana (Tyler). But he makes two rash moves, he rejects Tatyana's love, and secondly he kills Lensky in a duel over an imagined impropriety with Lensky's fiancée, Olga, (Tatyana's sister). Returning to the city after several years of travels, he finds Tatyana married into Petersburg society and he becomes obsessed by her now she has become unobtainable.
Russian melancholy suits Fiennes' brooding brow and dark eyes to a T; as Onegin he is cool and detached, but there is an spark inside struggling to get out. But Onegin always takes the easy option - something he lives to regret. Liv Tyler is a beautiful young Tatyana and manages the transition to a woman well although she can't help looking young, and Toby Stephens is good support as Lensky.