‘1612’ makes date with Russia

Moscow liberation film to open on 560 screens

MOSCOW — Just a year ago, Russia moved a public holiday from Nov. 7, which has Communist associations, to Nov. 4 to celebrate the date of Russia’s triumph over the invading Polish army in 1612 and the liberation of Moscow.

Ahead of this year’s anniversary, Central Partnership is opening helmer Vladimir Khotinenko’s patriotic epic, “1612,” on 560 screens.

Pic, starring Mikhail Porechenkov, Andrei Fedortsov and Alexander Baluyev, was produced by Nikita Mikhalkov’s Tri-Te studio on a budget of $12 million, including state funding.

1612 is scripted by Arif Aliev, best known for collaborating with Sergei Bodrov on his 1996 “Prisoner of the Caucasus” and his recent Eastern epic, “Mongol.”

Much of what happened in 1612 was undocumented and Aliev takes a free hand with the details.

Costuming and bloody battle scenes that dominate second half of the film are lavish — but with a strong dash of romantic melodrama thrown in.

Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, who actually did liberate Moscow from the Poles, feature only glancingly at its conclusion.

Russian auds, as they celebrate their new national holiday, will judge whether this mix of history and action love story works or not.

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