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21 Reviews
5 star:
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3 star:
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbearably long yes but it proves to be a bittersweet romance
One of the most haunting aspects of this movie is that my video store today has it under the "Adult entertainment" section which I thought was a joke. I first saw this on its release in 1988 at the age when I shouldn't have seen it. I'd forgotten so many details of it, and I was newly impressed at the film for the second time.

That aside, I must say that...
Published on June 30 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cuts, cuts and more cuts
I like this movie very much. However I got really upset when I realized some ninkompoup has cut it in an absolutely unbelieveable way. It is claimed it is not rated, but displays an "R" and a bit smaller a "PG" and a "DP" rating. it stinks. I like comlete movies and I believe if anybody does any cutting it must be mentioned very clearly...
Published on Oct. 22 2002 by rainer goltzsche


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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and Wonderful Cinematic Experience, Dec 28 2003
This review refers to the MGM DVD edition of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"......
"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" is a cinematic experience that will move you in many ways. The thrill of romance, the heartfelt friendships, the tension of Russian tanks rolling through Prague in 1968 and the passion of a people to take control of their own lives are all a big part of this wonderful film. It is beautifully filmed, with a hypnotizing screenplay, and a tremendous cast that fully capture the essence of each of the wonderful characters they portray.
It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, as Tomas, a renowned brain surgeon in Czechoslovakia(also renowned for his charms that no woman can resist)whose love for two very different women, creates a unique bonding and passionate love triangle between the three.
He can never forget the beautiful and seductive Sabina(Lena Olin), who seems to know him better than any other, and yet he cannot resist the charms of his wide-eyed and childlike but serious bride, Tereza(Juliette Binoche).But when politcal upheaval, interupts his perfect life, they must flee the country, where Tereza finds she cannot continue the lightness of life that Tomas has carved out for them. He must choose now, a decision that may have him sacrificing all in the name of love.
A nearly three hours, there is not a frame in this excellent piece of filmmaking that I would change. With each view I fall more in love with it and always come away completly moved. It is Directed by Philip Kaufman("Quills"/"The Right Stuff") and includes Donald Moffat and Stellan Skarsgard in the wonderful cast.The music adds the perfect feel to the rollar coaster of emotions in the story and the photography is outstanding.
This DVD by MGM is a nice transfer. The picture and colors are very good and it is presented in the theatrical release format of 1.85:1. The sound is superb in DD 5.1. It surrounds the room and every detail is clear and distinguishable.(The Criterion edition is in 2.0) Not much in the way of bonus features though, if that is what you are looking for. There is a theatrical trailer and it may be viewed with subtitles in English, French or Spanish. At this time I notice that Amazon is out of stock, and the merchants have some, but at very high prices. This DVD is not hard to come by. I found it at my neighborhood video store at the sugg. retail price(about half of what the sellers are asking for).
This is a film to be enjoyed many times over by anyone who enjoys, romance, drama, a little comedy, and fine filmmaking. It is however rated R for nudity and explicit love scenes.
Get ready for a moving experience and enjoy.....Laurie
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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 a film to see, March 21 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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5.0 out of 5 stars the Prague Spring, Dec 10 2001
By 
Doug Anderson (Miami Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
If you've read the book you won't be disappointed with this film which doesn't try to convey all Kundera's philosophy but it does retain the spirit of the book. Really the book had what some considered to be too much philosophy in it which got in the way of the story which was not Kunderas main concern anyway as his characters were just actors he used to elucidate his ideas. For Kaufman the real heart of the book was not in its ideas but in the way Tomas and Tereza relate and how that relationship evolves within a very specific historical circumstance, the Russian occupation of Prague in 68. That moment in time is really brought to life both in the cafes as we hear a Czech. version of"Hey Jude" being played and in the streets when the actual invasion takes place at which point hand held black and white cameras are used to give an on the spot feel to it.
When we first meet Tomas(Daniel Day Lewis) he is involved with Sabina(Lena Olin)and what they share is an almost religious belief in the erotic and an equalllly strong belief in retaining their individuality and frredom. On a visit to a spa in the country to perform an operation however Tomas comes across the innocent waitress Tereza(Juliette Binoche) and his life after that is never quite the same. Sabina resents the intrusion at first but soon she and Tereza are friends, in fact the moment they become friends on a rainy afternoon taking pictures of each other is one of the best scenes in the movie. A lot is made of the historical happenings and how they affect each characters personal life. I found it a little hard to believe that they would willingly return to Prague under communist rule after they had made their escape to Zurich but you may feel differently. The use of the terms "lightness" and "weight" that so often appeared in the book always seemed to my ears rather vague, the movie gratefully only employs those terms on rare occasion. The last scenes in the countryside are some of the most beautiful cinematography I have seen, quite memorable images evoking the really valuable things in life.
Certainly one of the best adaptations of a novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Moving, But Incomplete, Feb. 13 2001
By 
R. W. Rasband (Heber City, UT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I didn't get this the first time I saw it, so I turned to Kundera's novel. This led me to the great adventure of all of Kundera's work, and he quickly became one of my favorite writers. I rewatched this again recently and was much more impressed this time around. Day-Lewis is perfect as Tomas, the sardonic Lothario. Olin is blood-boiling as Sabina, the incarnation of freedom. And Binoche is captivating as Terersa, the woman for whom Tomas gives up everything. This a stirring, heartbreaking movie. The only problem is that it lacks Kundera's inimitable *voice*, the witty, erudite mini-essays he uses to iluustrate his philosophical points. Kaufman tries to recapitulate that voice in one or two lines of dialogue, but is doesn't work as well. By all means, see this fine film. But don't miss Kundera's original classic.
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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 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 One of the great ones, Sept. 1 2000
By A Customer
To the reviewer that said he'd rather watch an episode of 'Happy Days' to this great film perhaps should do just that, as this film is obviously out of his league. It didn't have the slapstick comedy, grim violence or juvenile one-liners that characterize most of what passes as entertainment.
Having lived many years in Eastern Europe, with it's intellectual standards it's hard to believe that this is an American film. It is a masterpiece. The more subtle is becomes, the more passions are evident. It is a story within a story withing a storym, and maybe too much for many to appreciate for it's deep texture and vibrant characterization.
Well written, excellent acting, superb photography. This one grows on you. I'e watched it three times (not for the sex scenes, which are mature themes, but tasteful). Having had a Soviet rifle pointed into my face, I can understand that courage and patriotism the Czechs expressed in 1968 and their feeing of being alone at that time.
Bravo, this is one of the best films of the last century.
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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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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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