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Brilliant Polish Historical Epic.
on 1 March 2013
This is an epic in the true sense of the word that is it has a cast of thousands, a sprawling tale of love, war and intrigue with a healthy smattering of humour for good measure. It starts in an uneasy Poland of 1647 where the peace is a fragile one with neighbouring countries including Russia, the Ukraine and the Tartars. A disgruntled nobleman defects to the Cossacks to induce rebellion thanks to the hapless intervention of a noble lieutenant, the dashing Jan Skrzetuski (Michal Zebrowski). As Jan makes his merry way back to the prince he comes across a damsel in distress the smouldering Izabella Scorupco playing Princess Helena. Well after a few sensuous looks and an impromptu dance they both fall head over heels in love.
But oh dear her matriarchal guardian has promised her hand (and a few other bits) to the conniving Jurko Bohun who will stop at nothing to get her back. Then whispers of war grow ever louder as the Cossacks make their move to invade a besieged Motherland and the clash of nations is all but inevitable.
This is a sumptuous production, actually made in 1999 with no discernable CGI but brilliant battle scenes, sieges, cavalry charges and impaling. It is not a blood fest though as there are so many mini adventures going on in this 175 minutes of a film.
It is really called `Ogniem I Mieczem' (`With fire and sword') and was a four part made for TV production. Just to let you know that not everything is translated but generally the sub titles seem to be very good. However even a minor irritant like that could not stop me ruddy well loving this film, it has everything including heart break and a lot of alcohol consumption, so if a vodka infused historical romp of a film is your thing, you should love this.