I was just starting to read the book again in a different translation (Volokhonsky vs. It is an excellent compliment to the book and really adds to an overall understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the story.
I felt real sympathy for him, and watching the film helped me to realize that this story is much more about Ivan than anyone else. It can't match the novel, of course, but it may inspire you to dig deeper into one of the rare books that just keeps on giving. The subtitles were not great but the acting and detailed plot made up for it.I had read the book prior to seeing the DVD so I was excited to have a recent production to view.The problem was with the middle three hours that did not read at all on the discs.It was very upsetting and I considered trying to send it back but an opened DVD is nonrefundable.At times it was slow and even a little goofy (especially in the beginning), but it starts to grow on you and by the time you finish, it's hard to get it out of your head and you wish it had continued.
Though there are subtitles, and they are usually fairly accurate, sometimes they are lacking in clarity, and a viewing will benefit from at least a rudimentary understanding of Russian language and culture. The subtitles were not great but the acting and detailed plot made up for it.I feel ripped off and more importantly it destroyed my experience of watching this incredible story on DVD.I've thought about reordering just to have a complete set of discs but I'm afraid of having the same problem with a new set. The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky's most richly philosophical novel, is certainly not a cinema-friendly vehicle for film adaptation.The treatment here is quite faithful (Mona0825's earlier review points out some important deviations, however), and I was surprised by how many scenes, even those I thought couldn't be filmed, were portrayed. In the book, his physical repulsiveness reflects his sick and depraved personality - you can't help hating his guts.The novel is so sprawling that events and relationships can become "disjointed" in your mind. Here, the father certainly invites our contempt, but is too much of a dandified fool to prompt our hatred.If you want to know what 19th Century Russia looked like, this cinematography will never be surpassed.