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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Widescreen) [Import]

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 73.36
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, Derek de Lint, Erland Josephson
  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Writers: Philip Kaufman, Jean-Claude Carrière, Milan Kundera
  • Producers: Bertil Ohlsson, Paul Zaentz, Saul Zaentz
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • Run Time: 171 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000069I01
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Product Description

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, the happily irresponsible Czech lover of Milan Kundera's novel, which is set in Prague just before and during the Soviet invasion in 1968. Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche are the two vastly different women who occupy his attention and to some extent represent different sides of his values and personality. In any case, the character's decision to flee Russian tanks with one of them--and then return--has profound consequences on his life. Directed by Philip Kaufman, this rich, erotic, fascinating character study with allegorical overtones is a touchstone for many filmgoers. Several key sequences--such as Olin wearing a bowler hat and writhing most attractively--linger in the memory, while Kaufman's assured sense of the story inspires superb performances all around. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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 there is a little of everything here. Daniel Day-Lewis is possibly the finest method actor of his generation and the subtlety of the Czech accent, the easy passion of the love scenes and the frankly mouth-watering on-screen tension with Lena Olin is a joy to behold. As for Olin herself, i may be alone, but i think she oozes sexuality and temptation here in a way that a Sharon Stone never could in Basic Instinct. Juliette Binoche is also one of the finest actresses of a generation (Alice et Martin, Three Colurs Blue and an Oscar for the terrible English Patient where she was the only thing worth watching) and she portrays the innocence and vulnerability of Theresa with an effortlessness that she deploys in all of her film roles. As for her display of under-arm hair, i have nothing to add!
Take three fine lead performances, add the perfect, haunting, musical score and the tense backdrop of the Prague Spring of 1968 and we almost have a perfect film. At times the story meanders and at 2h 46mins, does lose the attention into the third hour. I wondered at times why more was not made of the on-screen dynamic between the two female leads and also why the camera dwelt for such long periods on Day-Lewis driving his East-European motor vehicle, but it all adds to the period feel of the piece.
If you do not feel sad come the end, i should be extremely surprised, this is an excellent and engaging piece of film-making.
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Format: 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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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