Friday, September 17, 2010

The Characters in the Film, Doctor Zhivago (1965)

(1965)I have not read the book, but the characters in the film, Doctor Zhivago, represent the range of humanity.

The Czar and the ruling class only care about remaining in power.  The Bolsheviks only care about seizing power. The young Pasha—Pavel Pavlovich Antipov--is a revolutionary, a militant idealist, and a moralist. Originally, he hated the Bolsheviks.  He said that they do not know right from wrong. But later, he joins them.

Lara Antipova seems to be an ordinary Russian girl, someone who simply wants to love and be loved but has little control over her destiny. Victor Kamarovsky is a wealthy, well connected, but corrupt attorney.  To me, he is a mixed bag.  He represents the ordinary person, the Russian caught in the middle. Though greedy for himself, he is sympathetic to the revolutionaries. He is a fallen man, and guilty of the rape of Lara, but ultimately, he tries to redeem himself.

And then there is Doctor Yuri Zhivago himself, medical doctor and a poet.  He is the ideal man, someone in full possession of his own humanity.  

Yevgraf Zhivago, a general and Yuri’s half brother, seems to represent the reality of the new Soviet system. He is cold, tough, and impersonal.  He is all business yet still somewhat human.

For better or for worse, the character with whom I identify is Pasha Antipov.  Later in the film, he morphs into the fanatic Bolshevik extremist known as Strelnikov, who has denied practically his entire humanity, even his love for Lara, for the sake of the revolution.   But near the end, Pasha/Strelnikov fails to continue to be able to suppress his love for Lara.  It breaks  him, and he deserts his position to meet her.  He is caught on the way, but before they can put him before the firing squad, he commits suicide.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about?
The story is about Lara the "slut" as she is called. She sleeps with the old guy because she's a goldigger, then she sleeps and marries the revolutionary because she likes to be swept off her feet, and then she sleeps with a married man in Doctor Zhivago and acts as his mistress. Zhivago puts her on a train because he realizes she is not worth it, and has a heart attack at the end of the movie when he sees her because he gets scared she'll bother him again.

2:58 AM  

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