'Chernobyl 1986' review: Movie feels sub-standard before previous adaptations
On April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union had exploded. Danila Kozlovsky's directorial Chernobyl 1986 is a Russian depiction of the nuclear disaster with fictional heroes. The two-hour-long film lays focus on the dead warriors. But if you have watched HBO's 2019 miniseries Chernobyl, then this movie has nothing new to offer. Here's our review.
Writers expose pain, love, and effect of explosion
The ill-fated explosion is not an easy topic to capture on screen. Still, writers Elena Ivanova and Aleksey Kazakov did their best to portray the pain, love, and effect of the disaster. Besides the story, the most attractive thing is the Russian pop song in the beginning. The first 20 minutes revolve around Alexei-Olga's love story and their 10-year-old son.
Conscious choices to sacrifice one's life tug at your heartstrings
Olga's son witnesses the explosion through his camera and gets exposed to radioactive waves. In order to save him, Alexei sacrifices his life in a highly emotional sequence. Makers tug at viewers' heartstrings similarly when the officers choose to risk their lives by volunteering to help. One of the best moments was Olga unzipping her protection kit to embrace Alexei, contaminated with high-level radiation.
Did 'Chernobyl 1986' match the standard set by HBO series?
It is but natural that one would compare Chernobyl 1986 with the highly-acclaimed Chernobyl series. So, is it a worthy competitor? Well, the movie sure does have a few heroic moments, but the reactions of the citizens in Pripyat, the city where the explosion took place, are ignored. I couldn't help but wonder why Olga and Alexei never discuss the radioactive explosion.
Movie too time-constricted to offer detailing; gets 3 stars
Another issue with the movie was its mismatched pace. Everything felt too fast-forward. The only thing which the movie focuses on is that the 1986 Chernobyl explosion was a human error. The endeavor would have hit harder if it would have been in a series format. However, it will be a sober experience for those who have not watched the HBO offering. Verdict: 3/5.