Quick Review: BBC's War & Peace (2016)

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan 

War & Peace
Paul Dano, Lily James, and James Norton in War & Peace

BBC is really the master of adaptation as far as the classics are concerned. And I personally don't think adaptations get any better than the 2016 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace by BBC. It's truly epic and undeniably magnificent. It's something that you just can't afford to miss.

Tolstoy's greatness lies in how subtly he is able to present an enemy like Napoleon Bonaparte. While many in Russia compared him to the Devil, Tolstoy chooses to make him a primary character in the the third part of his book. The Russians were petrified by the might of Napoleon's Grande Armée and the very thought of losing their motherland was overwhelming to say the least.

Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz as the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in War & Peace

Can you imagine what an average Russian would have felt when the French Army consisting of 600,000 soldiers led by Napoleon himself would have marched towards Moscow in the summer of 1812? It only meant death and destruction, especially with the young Czar, Alexander I of Russia, refusing to bow down to the French Emperor's might.
And BBC's six part adaptation does full justice to it. It doesn't portray Napoleon as a monster. Just like Tolstoy had intended, Napoleon is portrayed as a man who is above burning down a city like Moscow to the ashes merely to pep up his ego. He is presented as a reasonable man who understands and values culture even in the face of insurmountable odds. That's the beauty of War and Peace.
Through its colorful and complex characters, Tolstoy succeeds in immortalizing the Russian aristocracy of the early 19th century. And BBC's sprawling adaptation of Tolstoy's epic, to its credit, brings it back to life in all its glory with a brilliant ensemble cast lead by Paul Dano, Lily James, and James Norton.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.