Trudno byt bogom (2013) is a Russian movie. Aleksey German has directed this movie. Leonid Yarmolnik,Aleksandr Chutko,Yuriy Tsurilo,Evgeniy Gerchakov are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2013. Trudno byt bogom (2013) is considered one of the best Drama,Sci-Fi movie in India and around the world.
A group of scientists are sent to the planet Arkanar to help the local civilization, which is in the Medieval phase of its own history, to find the right path to progress. Their task is a difficult one: they cannot interfere violently and in no case can they kill. The scientist Rumata tries to save the local intellectuals from their punishment and cannot avoid taking a position. As if the question were: what would you do in God's place? Director's statement Aleksei wanted to make this film his entire life. The road was a long one. This is not a film about cruelty, but about love. A love that was there, tangible, alive, and that resisted through the hardest of conditions.
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Aleski German's Hard to be a God may be the most difficult science fiction film ever made. It is a film that will divide viewers. I was excited to see the film since I had liked the Strugatsky brothers' novel that the film is based upon. In addition, the film had been compared to Andrei Tarkovsky who directed one of my favorite films, Stalker, also based on a novel by Arkaday and Boris Strugatsky (Roadside Picnic). After about a half hour of watching Hard to be a God, I was somewhat less excited. On a strictly visual level, Hard to be a God is amazing. The film takes place on a planet, similar to Earth, that is going through its middle ages. Aleski German gives the viewer this world unfiltered. The set design is the film's strongest asset. Mud, eternally gray skies, strange armor with demonic horns, and faces, faces like a out of a fresco, these keep one watching. The only two films I can think of by way of comparison are Fellini Satyricon and Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible. Hard to be a God lags behind those two films (Aleski German is not on the level as Federico Fellini or Sergei Eisenstein). Furthermore, German spends so much time on the set design that he neglects the story. The Strugatsky brothers created a story about power plays and showed how a scientist became a killer. The background was the fictional middle ages. Aleski German places the middle ages in the foreground and shoves the story into the background. True, German keeps much of the Strugatsky's story but downplays them to such a degree that viewers unfamiliar with the novel will have a hard time following it. The royal assassinations which begin the violence happen off screen. The love affair between the protagonist and the peasant girl, which leads to the turning point of the book, is barely in the film. Only one thing interests the director: the world he has created. It is an amazing world. I certainly cannot dismiss a film that looks like this. I am glad that I struggled through all three hours of Hard to be a God once. However, I think for repeat viewings one needs to have something more than just grand, moving pictures. One needs either deep themes (like in Tarkovsky's Stalker), or an intriguing character, or simply a good story. Set design will only take a film so far.
Based on a novel by Arkadiy Strugatskiy, Hard to Be a God, is an incredibly radical sci-fi film that stretches the meaning of all possible descriptors. This film is not for contemporary popular audiences. This film's audience (if you could say it has one) are the squirrelly, anti-social filmophiles that are too deep down the rabbit hole to be brought back. They're the people who have spent half their lives in darkened rooms and use film as a reference point for life itself. In other words, it a movie just for me. Knowing Hard to Be a God's production history automatically creates a modicum of goodwill towards the film. Director Aleksey German shot the film over six years and took another seven years to edit it before succumbing to heart failure at the age of 73. Yet even before his last film, his career is littered with long-gestating movies that in some cases were put on hold for years due to Soviet censorship. While the USSR ultimately crumbled 27 years ago, German's insistence in making movies his way is still met with accusations of impenetrability and art cinema navel-gazing. Hard to Be a God's narrative is not a concern here but for the sake of cogency I'll summarize. Our protagonist Don Rumata (Yarmolnik) is a human, one of many living on another planet stuck in the middle ages. It's never made clear if he's there to help the planet's fledgling culture but what is clear is everyone seems to have a fundamental distrust of intellectuals and a hatred towards science. Perhaps because of this, Rumata has assimilated himself as a noble with God-like powers and thus is feared by all. These God-like powers by the way include having the ability to swat spears away from his face to the gasping amazement of dim-witted centuries. It appears that Rumata has given up on logic long ago choosing instead to abuse his most loyal subjects in an attempt to make them understands the basic truths about germs, economics and whether or not fish like milk. Yet to designate Rumata a classic anti-hero would be far too simplistic. He, like the rest of the idiots populating the screen is wholly unlikable but in a drastically different way. Hard to Be a God, to put it succinctly is two parts Andrei Tarkovsky, one part Terry Gilliam and a tiny bit of Idiocracy (2006); though summarizing German's mis en scene through text is completely impossible. His images are so textured, so grotesque and so bizarre that it is unlike anything I have ever seen let alone anything I can describe. World-building seems to be German's biggest strength. We not only see the chaos happening around the characters, we feel the coarse mud, smell the putrid bile and rotting corpses and taste the blood and sinew on the half cooked chicken they consume. If one were to point to a glaring problem with the film it's that at nearly three hours, the film is simply too long to endure more than once. Scenes of little consequence could have easily been cut to make way for a tighter story and an ending that sticks the landing with devastating aplomb. However, say what you will about the film's leisurely pace, the constant injection of intense medieval grotesqueness supplies the film's audience with enough imagery to fill several nightmares. While illustrating the problems of a faraway planet, Hard to Be a God is a damning condemnation of humanities struggle with its own ignorance. While certainly not for everyone, the film's warped, layered and visceral vision of medieval life is rivaled only by Marketa Lazarova (1967). Hard to Be a God is a must-watch contemporary classic whose reputation will only grow in the years to come. If you're on its wavelength, I recommend you check it out.
The way this movie is done reminds a bit of the way Stalker was filmed: visually very compelling and interesting shots. The authentic medieval atmosphere and great acting and costumes as well as an AMAZING cast makes this movie visually exciting. The costumes and setups were way above that seen in any Hollywood movies. However, there is a huge drawback to the movie. Beyond its visuals, there is only little left from the narrative. The dialogues don't feel like dialogues and the way this story is told is not very helpful in understanding what is really going on or what the characters feel or think. I didn't feel at any point that the narrative was laid out well. It is very difficult to feel for any character in the film, as there is absolutely no character development or any way to understand the character's motives in depths. At various points it just feels like almost every character broke out of an insane asylum (even the supposedly "smart" or "normal" ones) and you as a viewer are thrown into the middle, looking at them through the camera that guides you around smoothly. Characters are being unnecessarily rough and rude to others for no obvious reason, which is way different from what one would imagine based on the novel. Repeatedly actors are making insane faces into the camera, reinforcing the idea that everyone is just insane. It is not even clear why the main character is acting the way he is, what he is thinking or feeling, it is not even possible to guess. The motives of pretty much every character in the film are really unclear. The viewer is left to guess what is going on but there is often really nothing to base your guess on. The repetitive confrontation of the viewer with feces, dirt, blood and urine, and thrown around food, drinks and objects, gets really boring quite early on in the movie but for some reason keeps continuing throughout the entire movie practically filling most of the film experience, as if it was necessary to repeat these images far beyond the point where the viewer must have already "gotten it". Where is the thrilling dialogues of the book, where is the story? The point that this planet is a messed up, backwards place and people live in dirt was already apparent in the first minutes, and done really well that way. It would not have been necessary to repeat this to the viewer for 3 more hours, it just makes it boring and monotonous. The philosophic aspects of the story and the entire "feel" for any of the characters got completely lost behind the thick layer of dirt that the movie seems to want to focus on. To me this was very disappointing. The only reason i actually was able to understand what was going on in the film was because I know the novel very well, meaning I could connect the dots whenever things were not directly understandable based on the images and dialogues I doubt all other viewers are capable of that, so most will probably not get the point of the story at all. Also, if I hadn't already known the story i definitely wouldn't have watched the movie to the end and given up early on. Even the death of his slave boy and his girl felt nothing to me. And how could I, considering that the characters were just not delivered well at all. For the visuals, costumes, cast and overall look I give the movie a 10/10 For the dialogues and story-telling ability I would only give it 2/10. I felt nothing throughout the entire movie. Whereas the book behind the movie almost made me cry like a big man-baby at the end. Overall: 5/10 I have also seen the 1989 film "Hard to be a god" which was done in an entirely different fashion. While that one was more in balance regarding visuals and story-telling ability, it overall felt mundane and the story-changes unnecessary. I still enjoyed it more than this one.
I've never written a review here, even though I'm more than dozen years a user. And most likely will not write one ever again. But forgive me for boring you with the personal introduction, it's just coming out to show you how much for me is this piece of filmmaking worth writing at least a few words. And I can only hope it will be for someone else too. The plot is quite clear: a man out of time. In every possible sense. A team of experts, including explorer/militant/scientist/philosopher/royalty? called Don Rumata, is set on a distant planet whose civilization's grey Purgatory of reality is similar to Earth's grim and barbaric Middle Ages. His mission: to protect the very few progressive minds he can get. Thing is, he can't show his advantages and in no case can he interfere killing, therefore allowing all natural history course of this parallel society. Like a spectator who can only touch on the surface and hurt inside, bright and impotent. It's not easy being neo-God. This simple yet great story is what makes the book written in the '60s by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky ("Roadside Picnic" which became "Stalker") a great one too. But what takes all this to a new-wave level of greatness is Aleksei German's lifelong desire to film it and his magnum final result of a vision where you are almost the main protagonist, you breathe and think and feel and will probably bleed right beside him. A result which German died just before seeing officially finished and which is now in the form of three hours that took fifteen years in the making. Three Russian hours from 21st century of black-and-white world of past, future, fiction, reality, chaos, mud, blood, vom*t, p*ss and sh*t and yet there is love and even music to be found in the filth of German's Inferno. Where I saw it at the Sofia International Film Festival, I witnessed walkouts, boos, applauses, tears of despair or joy. But what I experienced thoroughly was me sitting on the floor in the overcrowded theater in complete petrification, silent, a little confused and in awe. Confused by how much German added to the story, the ambiguity, the layers of detail and questions in depth he raised. And in awe of how was this shot, structurally and technically speaking. Even for a film student like me it raised only questions. To not spoil anything, I feel I should only say you have to watch it completely open-minded and forget about the book (which still must be read beforehand) or visual feasts such as, for example, "Birdman" and all the overpraising it got. Don't get me wrong about Chivo Lubezki who I adore, but this is a cinematic achievement way ahead even of its prolific time. Because by the end of all the daze and decay, you are completely unaware whether it's Don Rumata, you or the world around that is transformed. But into what? It's up to you to find. Just drain yo' self:) It was released more than a year ago at festivals, theatrically and on the internet, but is yet due to receive the grand recognition it deserves. My take is this can happen in five, fifteen, a hundred years from now or maybe never: something I can not and will not believe. No one can now for sure, but anyone could easily sense that as far as narrative cinema goes, HARD TO BE A GOD is most definitely the timeless film of our present. You can thank the Germans (father and son) or the Strugatsky brothers; I choose to thank humanity.
This film had by far the greatest amount of liquids and combinations of liquids in the history of film. Blood combined with mud, blood with snot, snot with mud, vomit and spit, vomit and mud, blood and liquified rotting corpses, piss and pion, blood and feces all combine into a true elegy of combines liquids. Additionally, it features an extraordinary amount of faces. Extras constantly pass in front of the camera, and at least 1000 people get a close up, all with different, often disturbing faces, specifically ordered to perform as disgustingly as possibly, often projecting the aforementioned liquids, with a preference to snot. This manages to give an authentic feel to the medieval atmosphere of the film, with all the disturbing, disgusting and hard to watch elements completely intact. Unfortunately, the story is very hard to follow, since the random dialogue by extras, while cementing Hard to be a God as possibly the most realistic film about the Middle Ages ever, also distract the viewer from the actual story. Also, the sci-fi premise is thin and doesnt affect the story too much, while it does involve some interesting nihilistic philosophic themes. All in all, this film is not for you if you are a fan of sci-fi, color and interesting storytelling. However, it is really a technical marvel, with spectacular photography, costumes and set pieces, which manages to include the largest number of liquids and faces ever. If you are a face, liquid, or generally decadence enthusiast, you should watch this film as soon as possible.