It is a tale, for it is quite far from the original true story, of a path to humanity. From a soviet gulag, through the unfriendly woods and rocks of Siberia, through the desert – to the South, to India.
The film is long (134 min), yet this lenght is difficult to justify with other reasons than the director wanting the viewers to suffer and identify with the heroes’ suffering in the tale.
The characters are hard to distinguish within the team of 6, they are not enough introduced at the exposition and the opening of the story. Colin Farrel, a criminal with the faces of Stalin and Lenin tattooed over his chest is the one remarkable character, whose face stands out. Ed Harris is the other persona with special traits. The remaining 4 characters look all the same.
Also, there seem to be some attempts at adding some pathos to certain scenes through obvious visual comparisons to Christ’s Crown of Thorns, to Virgin Mary, to Pietà.
I’m sorry Mr. Weir, as a viewer, I’m disappointed this time…
It is a pity that a) such an important subject matter is actually treated so lightly and b) that such an amazing artist (author of The Truman Show!!!) provided the audiences with another mainstream Hollywood production quite far from a masterpiece.
TimeOut London gave the film 3 stars. I wouldn’t give more.