The plot is sometimes confusing as the history of the revolution and the background to the characters past is not well explained at times. However, the supporting actors allow the film to be bearable through the poor areas in the story line.
There is fantastic narration by Alex Guinness, playing Zhivago's half brother. Other great performances are provided by Rod Steiger as Komarovsky. Tom Courtenay also gives a good performance as Pasha.
The film was the winner of an astounding five Oscars. To name a few, Robert Bolt won for screenplay and Maurine Jarre for best musical score.
David Lean as director and Carlo Ponti as producer do their best to plaster over the cracks in the acting and somewhat patchy script in places. Having said this, the film is incredibly long and only a genius would be able to make it without faltering ocasionally. So this doesn't necessarily mean the film is un-watchable.
A great deal of the film was shot in Spain and Canada to get those great landscape shots. Extras were worried by the dictator Franco who had the army watching them film the scenes. They were in fear for their lives.
The critics saw the film as romanticising the revolution and as historically irresponsible. However, it was loved by audiences on the whole. It is not easy to care much about Zhivago himself even though Omar Sharif is fantastic.
Rated PG-13 due to its adult themes, it is a great romantic drama. Because of the fact that it is set in the past it is very difficult for it to age. Therefore, it is as strong today as it was in the year of its creation.
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