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It's always good and interesting to watch a WW II movie, that is telling a not so common story or is telling things from an unique perspective.

This is a WW II movie that focuses more on what happens to those who are not fighting and are at home, waiting for their beloved ones to return home safely. This is not unique but what is sort of unique is that it's doing it without falling into the usual clich├ęs and isn't using any false sentiments to fuel its drama. This is really foremost why "Letyat zhuravli" works out as both an original drama and WW II movie.

And it's an Soviet movie, so that already means that it's being different from anything you're probably accustomed to. Soviet movies at the time always had a very distinctive- and powerful style and atmosphere over it, this one included. Yes, you could also really call it a propaganda movie (especially toward its end it's really starting to head into that direction) but this is of course not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it's even what makes some Soviet movies even more interesting to watch, in todays light and retrospective.

One thing that almost immediately becomes apparent about this movie, is that it's an incredible well shot one. Its camera-work is fantastic and they used some unique shots for this movie. But also with all of its close-ups and large crowed scenes, it's a great looking black & white movie, that uses some fine lighting as well.

It also helps the movie that it's being a quite short one. Before thing start to dwell on and before things can get too melodramatic, it's over already. 90 minutes (and a bit) was basically the perfect running time for this movie.

As far as war movies, mixed with drama and romance go, this is definitely one of the better and more unique movies to watch.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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