Joined: Feb 2 2008
The film suffers from agitprop - clearly favouring the Soviets and damning the Nazis. It's essentially a historical document of the horrific mass-murdering that took place in Belarus at the hands of the Nazis through the eyes of a young boy. The beginning of the film when the kid chooses to join the Russian brigade is poorly wrough, melodramatic and forced - as well as the massacre scenes and ending. Not to mention, also, the film relies on too many contrivances. Take for example how the boy ends up getting held back from travelling with the brigade because he's forced to swap his shoes with an older man's ruined pair, among other examples. The film is designed primarily for visceral power. That's not to say it's a great film, which it certaintly isn't. As a piece of propoganda, it's a masterpiece, but as a work of filmic art, it's merely passable. On a technical level, the film is terrific; from the camera work and cinematography to the soundtrack. It's biggest detriment is its screenplay. There simply isn't much intellectual depth to the film. The acting by the lead is good but there aren't many insights into the effect war has on youth. It attempts this, mostly in the film's first half, but fails because it's heavy-handed and poorly written.
Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood - a film that explores similar themes, succeeds far more than Come and See at showing war's effect on youth.