Movies are a very powerful medium , A really honest and well worked story can do wonders to the way the audience perceive the world. The real power of movies can be harnessed only when the story takes the front seat and star power takes the back. One such Film is “The Last Station”
The Last station directed by Michael Hoffman is a biopic of the legendary Russian writer Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, during his last days .
Before watching this movie I had never heard of Tolstoy or of ” war and peace ” , but this movie totally takes you to Yasnaya Polyana the place where Tolstoy was born is place where the movie takes place during the year 1910.
Now before you read any further about this movie I would like to warn you that this is not your usual commercial melodrama , this is in many ways a really ‘artsy‘ film , and not meant for people who have no patience .
After looking at real life photographs of the characters in the movie , I was amazed at how really good the casting in the movie was . Everybody from Tolstoy’s daughter Sasha to Vladimir Chertkov to Tolstoy himself looked and acted like their real life counterparts. I was really impressed at the casting of Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy and Paul Giamatti as Vladimir Chertkov.
Moving to the acting department every actor in the movie has performed his/her brilliantly , but i was really impressed with Helen Mirren who plays Tolstoy’s wife Countess Sophia Tolstaya , its a pity that she did not win the Academy award.Now there is no need for me to really say anything about Christopher Plummer , anybody who has seen any of his previous movies knows that he is one of the best performers out there.
Now if that has not yet convinced you to watch this really inspiring and moving film , continue reading….
The Story starts with Valentin Bulgakov played by James McAvoy (who is again in a really meaningful role after “The last King of Scotland”), going to Yasnaya Polyana and joining as Tolstoy’s secretary, Vladimir Chertkov wants Valentin to know about Sophia Tolstaya’s actions because she is against Tolstoian Movement and its Principles , and what follows is a melodrama which ends in a very befitting climax.
So go and watch The Last Station immediately if you like really meaningful cinema where the story and screenplay are the real heroes . They just don’t make many films like this anymore .