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21 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very bearable
I believe that the current crop of young director's in Hollywood should be sat down and forced to enjoy this film, for it is a perfect example of exactly how a simple movie can be elevated to a piece of art work. Of course it cannot hurt if your base is a novel worthy in its own right, but the transfer to the screen does not always go this well.
First and foremost...
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by marty mcfly

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice historical fiction movie
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This movie is set against the backround of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the 1960's It is about a doctor who has physical relationships with many different women. He then meets a woman whom he wants to pursue a romantic and emotional with. She wants him to be monogamous. The ensuing...
Published on May 3 2004 by Ted


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4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and intimate epic, June 19 2002
By 
I have not seen this DVD (not released yet) but this is one of my all time favorite films. Philip Kaufman (who also directed "The Right Stuff", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (remake), and "Henry and June") combines beautiful and erotic visuals with a compelling story of people caught up in the 1968 uprising in Czechoslavakia, and its aftermath.
Wonderful performances by Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Stands up well to repeated viewings. I have seen this in the theatre, on LaserDisc, and on the excellent Criterion DVD. Don't watch it full screen (4x3)!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An investigation into the nature of relationships, Sept. 2 2000
By 
James A. Quinn (North Wales, PA United States) - See all my reviews
Why do we commit to one another? Do we really know? Would a life of independence and detachment be better? Both analytical and powerfully moving, this movie deals with these questions. At first seeming light and slightly intellectual, the movie evolves into something more felt than thought. The film shows what is going on without telling the viewer in words. This is a story about the nature of love in all its human forms. It is a heavy story that stays with you. Not for those not in touch with their inner self or who object to some tasteful nudity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a film to see, March 20 2002
By 
"tomhreece" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
This is a story about all kinds of love and the ways those loves shape our lives.Love of other human beings,country,freedom,natural beauty,animals---they're all a part of this emotional experience.Yet we share the feelings naturally,the story doesn't seem contrived or preachy.The movie may be a little long,but even the scenery and the use of black and white footage are done well.The use of nonverbal communication by the lead actors is as good as any I have ever seen.Olin and Binoche are incredible!There's plenty to think about in this film---see it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars NO LONGER IN STEP, Aug. 8 2000
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
When Milan Kundera's novel was first made into this film, there was still the flavor of the Cold War and Soviet monolith in the air. The story has to do with the effects on one's personal life that opperssive governments can have. This film beautifully portrays this and the absurdity in daily life brought down on people living under the Czech communist regime. In the present day, one may find it difficult to "get into the mood." Nevertheless, this is one of the excellent films set in that time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The unbearable lightness of being, Oct. 25 2000
By A Customer
This is already my favorite movie for at least ten years, from the first time I saw it. It is a movie about an unsettled men who lives life lightly, but is also in love. Slowly he is adapting to a life with only one woman, the one he loves. The very romantic and chalenging movie is set in Chechie around 1965 somewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Movie that surpasses the book it is based on., Jan. 23 2004
It is long. It is quiet and full of life and fantastic performances. Movie that stays with you for the rest of your life. One should get some kind of prize for title alone.
Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinatng and intelligent, July 22 2011
This review is from: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
The setting is Prague before and after the invasion by the soviets - not so timely anymore but still riveting. This is the story of Tomasz, a doctor/poet and his many lovers, all of them seeking meaning and permanence in a society that is rapidly shifting from freedom to oppression. This film is as much about the oppression of lust and the freedom brought by love as it is about poilitical freedom and oppression. Great performances by Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliet Binoche and Lena Olin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, Nov. 12 2010
By 
Johannes Doreleyers "history Buff" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Like another reviewer, I saw this movie when it was first released and owned it on VHS. This movie has something for everyone. it is funny in places, erotic in others, but it can also be deadly serious. The depiction of the Russian invasion is brutal and the extend to which the decadent communist regime went to suppress any form of opposition, however slight, is shocking (Tomas, a brain surgeon, end up washing windows for a living). As Russian tanks rolled in and suppressed the futile resistance of an impotent population I was reminded how Hitler was allowed to invade much of Eastern Europe unopposed while the world stood by and watched. All in all, an excellent film with a thoughtful message
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4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Task, but Still a Great Movie, Aug. 30 2007
This review is from: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
I've always felt it is a mistake to compare a film adaptation to its literary counterpart. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, as a novel, is hugely significant and wonderful. As a film, it is not necessarily true to the book and that is solely because as a film it is not capable of being true to the book. I would compare making a movie out of Milan Kundera's novel to making a video game out of the Godfather or Pulp Fiction. If that was done we run into issues like forgetting to include the priorities of game play, or simply cashing in on the success of the film. With the Unbearable Lightness of Being, there are inevitably going to be lovers of the book waiting to attack the film, and that has happened. Of course it prioritizes itself efficiently as a cinematic experience, while at the same time it makes for about as good an adaptation of the novel as you can possibly get. It wasn't a filmable story to begin with and even Kundera came forward and said that, but he also consulted the writers of the screenplay. So comparisons between the film and novel are in my opinion pointless but also inescapable. I've already made them myself.

I'm not going to summarize the whole film for you as that would probably be too long-winded and could potentially spoil the story. I'll introduce the characters, place them in a setting and then say go...and then you can add this to your shopping cart, proceed to check out, and then a few days later press play. The film takes place in Prague in 1968 just after Alexander Dubcek lead the Prague Spring advancement. Soon after that the characters suffer through further reform following the eventual invasion of the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact. The film opens with two characters who are lighthearted and carefree lovers. Tomas is a surgeon and womanizer who lives life as though sex and love are two very different things. Sabina is an artist who, in the eyes of Tomas, embodies sex. Tomas soon meets the more heavyhearted Thereza, a waitress and aspiring photographer, who embodies innocence. They are opposites but soon Thereza will also embody love in the eyes of Tomas.

The characters in The Unbearable Lightness of Being evolve wonderfully in a significant and chaotic backdrop, but they never steer from their passions. It is layered as not only a romance, but also as a story about rebellion, and as an erotic dance; but ultimately it is an existential story. A few of these points are strengths only realized if the book is read first. Not that I'd definitely recommend doing that if you haven't already, as the book does stand higher in it's own medium than the film does and you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Some of the deeper messages are unquestionably somewhat muted in the film.

Again though, judged solely as a cinematic narrative, Director Phillip Kauffman makes The Unbearable Lightness of Being a beautiful movie and delves deeply enough into these characters and their world that he manages to capture some of Kundera's vision, while adding his own motion picture flare. I'm conflicted as to whether this movie should be celebrated as a triumph in terms of Kundera's novel, but I'm not conflicted in the least as to whether or not this is a great movie all by itself.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad movie, Nov. 29 2008
This review is from: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
I read the book of Milan Kundera and it was so so good !!!!! When i saw this movie it was so so awful !!!!! Very bad interpretation of this book and bad actors !!!! I heard that Milan Kundera wasn't consulted for this movie and he don't like it also !!!!!
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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