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Admiral (Russian: Адмиралъ) by Andrei Kravchuk

08 Mar

 

 

But if I’m still alive in spite of destiny, that’s only as your love and memory of you.

Anna Timireva

 

 

 

“The Admiral” is a historical Russian movie about life and love of Aleksandr Vasilevich Kolchak, who was a hero of the 20th century and played a great role in the February Revolution and Russian Civil War. It is a story of great and beautiful love that does not last long.

The most touching episode in the movie is the end of it. The audience sees Kolchak’s shooting and the episode of how the movie was made.  The director of the film, Andrey Kravchuk, made one movie inside another movie.

The episode begins with the picture of snow-covered field with the church in the center of the background and people in grey coats on the foreground but we cannot see their faces. This shot shows the emptiness. There are no trees, no stars in the sky. Everything is in a grey color.  There is a feeling of the hopelessness and even God cannot do anything to prevent so terrible events. The church is only a looker in the scene.

After that we see a three-shot. There are Kolchak, his friend and a man who controls the shooting but we do not see his face. Kolchak is in the military form. His friend is in the fur coat. And the third actor is in the sheepskin coat. Kolchak and his friend looks somewhere far. And their glance shows that they remember all events that have happened with them.  Perhaps, the whole life ran before their eyes.  There is an exhalation that is coming from their mouths. The cold is in the air. The cold is in the souls. But Kolchak’s heart burns with the love’s fire.   In the next shot we see the face of the man, who controls the shooting, in the medium close-up.  After that we see the reverse shot. There is a pain and sadness in Kolchak’s and his friend’s eyes. But the eyes of the third character do not show any sympathy to them.  Kolchak and his friend cross themselves, which shows that they do not lose faith in God.

Before the shooting we see the close-up of Kolchak’s face.  It is very hard to look in his eyes without sympathy, without a pain in heart.  And then they were shot.  But we do not see the faces of people who have killed them. We only see their backs.

After that the action turns to another place. We see the window with the bars, which shows us that it is a prison. There is a female coat on the wall that tells us that it is a woman’s ward.  There is a light that is coming through the window.  And the camera slowly moves from the window to the table following the direction of the light. There is a candle on the table but it does not fire. The love between Kolchak and Anna was like a fire of the candle. It burns so fast and goes out so suddenly. Also there is a book and some pictures on the tables, but unfortunately we cannot see what book it is and what is reflected on the photo. However, we can suggest that this book is a bible and on the pictures there are people who are close to the person in this ward.  After that camera moves to the person who is lying in the bed. And this person is Anna Timireva, Kolchak’s lover and love. We see only her face, which is in the moon light. There is a pain in her eyes. She closes her eyes. She feels that Kolchak is not alive…

After that the action turns to the previous scene. We see the ice-hole. But the shape of it looks very strange.  It has the cross form.  The man who controls the shooting begins to smoke. It shows that he is nervous and frustrated.  After that we see Kolchak and his friend lying on the snow in white clothes. There is a blood on the clothes. And we see that there are several bullet wounds. After that Kolchak was thrown into this ice-hole. He is going under the water in a slow motion. This scene is a reflection of the crucifixion. His body is in the moon light, the same light, which is on Anna’s face in the previous scene.

This scene links to the scene where Anna sleeps.  There is a dissolve of these two scenes which shows us parallel shots. Simultaneously with the shot where Kolchak goes under the water, Anna drops the medallion with her photo. Everything is showing in a deceleration motion.  This simultaneous fall of the medallion with Anna’s photo and Kolchak’s fall under the water shows that there is death not only of Kolchak but also Anna’s heart. He takes her love with him under the water.

After that everything turns into the dark. For a moment a black shot appears on the screen. Then we see several shots rapidly changing each other: black shot, white shot, legs of somebody and the medallion lying on the floor, old eyes and then somebody picks up the medallion from the floor.

The action moves from 1920 to the 1961 to the film studio. We see that everyone is in a hurry. But suddenly we see a close-up of someone’s eyes.  This is the eyes of an old woman, who does not look happy. Her eyes tell us more than the words do. There is a damp in her eyes. There is now brightness in her eyes. There is no shining in her eyes. In her old hands we see the same medallion which Anna drops in the ward almost 40 years ago. And then we understand that this old woman is Anna. She is looking at her photo and touches her image with the old wrinkled arm. This gesture shows the audience that this medallion reminds her the remote past and how strong she wants return to the past.

In the next scene we see the director of the film. He goes ahead, speaks with people, and gives assignments to the people. He is very busy and pompous. And then his eyes meet Anna’s eyes.  There is a damp in her eyes, but there is no sympathy in his eyes. It is just a work for him. He turns away from her. And then we again see Anna’s eyes. And in her eyes we see so strong pain; we see the loneliness in her eyes.  Nobody speaks to her, nobody understands her.  There is a bustle in the film studio and everyone concentrate on their work.

The next episode shows the shooting of the film. Everyone is in the ball room in beautiful dresses dancing waltz on the floor in the center of the dancing floor there is a producer with the speaking-trumpet in his hands.

After that on the foreground we see Anna’s back and on the background we see the ball room. She has the same haircut like in the past.  The camera goes around her face showing the whirling dancing couples. The next shot shows her eyes and the camera demonstrates what she sees. The dancing couples continue to dance. But in the next we see that Anna’s eyes turns down to the floor, which makes the audience to feel that she cannot look at them without pain in her soul. The camera shows that she looks at the legs of the dancing couples. And then her eyes stop at the producer. We see only her back, however we know that she looks at him, who comes toward her and shows her that she is the odd man out.

In another shot we see a waiter who looks at them and comes near dancing couples. There is a glass of wine on the tray in his arms. He is coming toward Anna. And in the next shot she turns away and breaks the glass of wine.

Then we see in a deceleration motion how this glass falls down to the floor and smashes to smithereens. And again we see the close-up of her eyes. She looks down at fragments of broken glass and at the drops of wine. And then she turns her eyes ahead and the camera shows us what she sees.

The next shot shows what is in front of her. There is a dim image of whirling dancing couples behind the splinters of the glass. The camera concentrates on one man behind the splinters and as splinters are slowly falling down, the image of the man becomes clearer. We see that it is Kolchak turning to the camera. He looks in Anna’s eyes and again we see the close-up of Anna’s eyes, but in this shot we see tears in her eyes. But these are tears of happiness.

Then camera moves to Kolchak who goes toward her against a background of dancing couples. And when he comes to her, he sees Anna but now there is a young Anna in front of him. She is in other clothes, but the haircut and eye-rings are the same. She is in the dress in which she was when she saw Kolchak for the first time in her life and Kolchak is in the full dress of the admiral. They see only each other. Their faces shines and they are full of happiness. Anna bows to Kolchak. And the audience can understand without words that Kolchak asks her to dance with him and she agrees.

In the next shot we see Kolchak’s best friend who is also in uniform and who is full of happiness. Then we see a conductor with his orchestra in the foreground and in the background there are dancing couples who are whirled in the waltz. There are lots of dancing couples but the focus is on Kolchak and Anna.

There is Anna’s husband in the next shot. He is looking at Anna and Kolchak. His face looks very kind and happy. He is not jealous his wife to Kolchak.

After that we again see in the decelerated motion how Anna dances with Kolchak.  But now another person looks at them. It is Kolchak’s wife. But she is also not jealous her husband to Anna. She smiles. There is a feeling that she is happy that people who so strong love each other are together.

There is a smile on all faces. Everyone is happy. And then camera again turns to Anna and Kolchak. It goes around them to show that they are whirling in the waltz. Anna and Kolchak looks into each other eyes. They are very happy. After that from the high-angle the camera shows the whirling of the dancing couples and Anna with Kolchak together dance in the center.

The end of the movie leaves a pain in the hearts of people who are watching it despite the fact that movie ends with the happiness on the characters’ faces. The movie ends with the captions which tell what has happened with all main characters of the film. And it tends the hearts of the audience to cry as if it was the story of their own life. These captions remind audience that the dance of Anna and Kolchak is only the dreams of the loving heart that will never come true.

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