There was a lot to get our heads around last week, especially if you have never read the book. So any characters and stories to get to know. Now that I have names and stories sorted in my head I’m sure it’ll only get better.I guess the problem I have is that it feels like its moving so fast. There is no real indication of how long between events there is so it just seems to be steam rolling through the lives of the people in the show.
Pierre became a Duke, got engaged and married in a blink of a eye over the end and beginning of these two episodes and by the end of this episode his marriage was already on the rocks thanks to a affair between Helene and Fedya. He’s just challenged Fedya to a duel, PIERRE! Challenged not only a war hero but a guy who in the last episode pretty much orchestrated tying a police officer to a bear! The fact that some random person also was able to figure out that Helene had a lover in Fedya so quickly was baffling! It would have made more sense for ANYONE to have noticed that she was having a affair with Anatole.
As for Anatole and his attempt, or should we say his fathers attempt, at taking the hand of Marya was such a whirlwind of fast dialogue and scenes just happening quickly that I felt they only dramatised it so that they could have Jim Broadbent as Marya’s father Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky being crazy in the face of the cunning and always laid back and calm Prince Vassily Kuragin (Stephen Rea.) It just felt like a waste of poor Jessie Buckley who spent most of the time looking sad as her father shouted random orders, contradicted himself constantly and so on.
I feel like in their rush, I mean its only 6 episodes long anyway, they also ruined the drama of what happened to Andrei. They could have left his arriving till next week, in fact his wife going into labour would have been more of a cliffhanger then the one we were left with!
I say this but I enjoyed it none the less. I guess my biggest gripe is that it feels like its rushing the story. That is a double bladed sword. Its a negative because it feels rushed but its a positive because what it’ll honestly do is make me go out when the series finishes and buy the book just to compare the two.
Usually I attempted to tweet along with the dramas I watch but this had me glued to my seat from beginning to end. I found myself shouting at the TV at different times and when the soldiers marched out to meet Napolean whilst General Mikhail Kutuzov had been so adamant they shouldn’t I had tears in my eyes. All the characters are so alive to me that I feel pain when terrible things happen to them and happiness when good things happen.
In all honestly my highest praise goes to Tom Burke. Only one other actor in recent times has made me want to crawl into my TV and slap them, and that is Stephen Rea in Dickensian for picking on poor Bob Cratchit! I love Burke as Athos but Fedya Dolokhov is like the complete opposite, he sleazes with self importance and I just want to shake him. He and Tuppence Middleton make me angry just watching scenes with them two in it which is exactly how you are meant to feel!
Jim Broadbent and Adrian Edmondson though just make me want to cuddle them.
Its no longer a point that I’m not following what is happening, I’m following it very easily now. My problem with it is that no event seems that important. Its done and over with in a heartbeat. It leaves very little time for any real drama to be built. I’m excited to see what happens next but I’m also sure its going to raise more questions about characters and events then it’ll answer!