Sluga Gosudarev (2007)


Sluga Gosudarev Storyline

Europe, 1709. Russia and Sweden are at war. Two French duelists are exiled by King Louis XIV of France: one to the side of Czar Peter the Great of Russia, the other to the side of King Charles XII of Sweden. Although separated by war and allegiance, fate has not finished with them.—Anonymous

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Sluga Gosudarev Movie Reviews

Epic film with spectacular scenarios and describing historical events , rousing battles and swordplay

Sluga Gosudarev (2007) is a historical film plenty of adventure , drama , passion , duels , extraordinary scenarios and breathtaking battles spectacularly filmed . It is an impressive flick set in Europe, 1709 , being based on a true story when Russia and Sweden are at war and most of the characters in the film were based on real people such as Louis XIV , Peter the Great and Charles XII . And there takes place the notorious battle of Poltova , the decisive victory of Peter I of Russia over the Swedish forces under Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld in one of the battles of the Great Northern War. It is widely believed to have been the beginning of Sweden’s decline as a Great Power; the Russians took their place as the leading nation of north-eastern Europe. The picture deals with two French duelists are exiled by King Louis XIV of France: one to the side of King Charles XII of Sweden , the other to the side of Czar Peter the Great of Russia . Both of them become involved a loving conflict and factional disputes . Although separated by different allegiance and enemy , fate get them together.

This historical drama packs intrigue , sword-crossing , spectacular battles and wonderful outdoors . It’s a sweeping and historical epic including breathtaking fights . Acceptable acting from main and support cast, though none of the performances are really bad, but none are very good . Evocative and functional Musical Score . Gorgeous and luxurious Cinematography . Impressive Production Design showing breathtaking outdoors , luxurious palaces and rousing battles . This costumer epic drama was professionally directed by the Russian Oleg Ryaskov , though contains flaws and gaps , including some scenes with no much sense .

The flick is inspired by historical events , the actual deeds were the following : Charles XII led early Swedish victories at Copenhagen and at the Battle of Narva in 1700 when he knocked both Denmark-Norway and Russia temporarily out of the war .During this time Peter I of Russia rebuilt his army into modern form, basing it primarily on infantry trained to use linear tactics and modern firearms properly. He then achieved a stunning propaganda victory when he established the city of Saint Petersburg . In the spring Charles resumed his advance, but his army had been reduced by about one-third due to starvation, frostbite and other effects of the weather. The wet weather had also seriously depleted the army’s supplies of gunpowder; the cannon were also essentially out of action, due to a lack of usable ammunition. Charles’s first action was to lay siege to the fort of Poltava on the Vorskla River in Ukraine.When the battle opened, Charles had about 14,000 men, while Peter commanded about 45,000. The battle began on 27 June 1709 with the Swedes advancing boldly against the Russian fortified lines just north of Poltava. At first, the battle started off in a traditional fashion, with the better trained Swedes pressing in on the Russians’ redoubts, overrunning a few Russian defensive redoubts . The Swedish seemed to possess an advantage, but this was quickly nullified . The Swedish infantry, commanded by General Lewenhaupt, attempted to attack the Russians in their fortified camp just north of Poltava. But the Swedish advance soon faltered, partly because the infantry had been ordered to withdraw and reorganise.The Swedes were on the verge of a breakthrough and needed the cavalry unfortunately for the Swedes, it was disorganised . Several Swede regiments were surrounded in a classic Cannae-style battle as Bauer’s Russian cavalry swarmed around the Swedish army and attacked the Swedish rear guard. Cruetz and the cavalry tried to buy the infantry time to get away; several units attacked the Russians head on despite them forming into squares. By this stage, the Swedes had no organised bodies of troops to oppose the Russian infantry or cavalry. Small groups of foot soldiers managed to break through and escape to the south while most of the rest were overwhelmed and ridden down. Seeing the defeat of his army from a stretcher in the rear, Charles ordered the army to retreat at 11:00 a.m. By noon, the battle was over as Russian cavalry had mopped up the stragglers on the battlefield and returned to their own lines. Charles then gathered the remainder of his troops and baggage train, and retreated to the south later that same day, abandoning the siege of Poltava. Lewenhaupt led the surviving Swedes and some of the Cossack forces to the Dnieper River, but was doggedly pursued by the Russian regular cavalry and 3,000 Kalmyks and forced to surrender three days later at Perevolochna, on 1 July.

Good movie, REALLY SUCKED as documentary

Good movie, REALLY SUCKED as documentary Im from Sweden, don’t get me wrong, this IS a nice movie. Really enjoyed the whole picture, really enjoyed the SwedesAreBad parts, because we actually did do BAD things at 1709. The invented story with the details about french observers, the black rider etc was nice 2, worked fine to make the movie ‘going’. (Karl XII was by the way hurt in one foot by a bullet before battle, nice thing to make a movie main char do this in the movie) Just some clarification’s about the battle, because it is tense, well-done and SUCKS as historical document… The whole redutt fight was a misunderstanding – Swedish orders was to run thru reduttes just before morning/sun-break – thru to the fields beyond. Unclear orders made 2000 out of 8000 infantries die at reduttes in vain and only captured some of them. (6000 ran thru as ordered) At main battle of Poltava-battle (after reduttes), 6000 Swedish infantry’s attacked 18000 (!) likewise Russians. The Swedes had gunpowder for one shot only and no artillery at all. The Russian army used all the modern artillery they disposed. It was a slaughter, and approx 3000 or more Swedes were Dead Meat before able to make their first and only shot in this fight. Tsar Peter dwelled inside Russian camp whole battle (generals made all decisions) – and no glorious cavalry charge changed the tide of battle at Poltava. Notable: in fact cavalry at this time had lost most of its OFFENSIVE capabilities (example: 60 years earlier Swedish infantry slaughtered the royal Polish cavalry outside Warsaw with no cavalry support). Cavallery at this time was mostly used vs cavalry, vs flanks or vs fleeing runners. The first outcome of Poltava was obvious for the remains of Swedish infantry, documents state them hiding under dead friends, sniped to death from distance by Russians. The second outcome was political: Sweden forever erased from the list of super-dominating nations. Im happy for that part. For example: Bin Laden ignores us 🙂 I see this screen strictly as adventure but pointless if You wanna know what really happened – and in fact rate this Adventure to 7/10.

My 2 cents. /S

Servant of Two Masters

There are several aspects to this film which need to be viewed before the films itself is viewed. Otherwise you might not get what you are expecting, and might do a great deal of suffering. The film itself is structurally confusing, as if two different teams had been working on two different films, without being allowed to know what the other unit is doing. It takes off as a light hearted historical romance: you get the obligatory glitter of the Sun King’s court, lovely and corrupt noblemen and -women, dispute at cards, a lady throwing in her valuable necklace, fake letters being fabricated by ill-wishing, jealous courtesans, gentlemen dueling and the King, desiring the lady in question for himself, reprimanding them by sending them as emissaries to two courts which are at war, i.e. most certainly to their death.

From that point on the other unit takes over: we get a brutal, realistic battle picture with nothing much more than the combat and brutality of early XVIII century warfare. Then, occasionally, the “romance”-team steps in, introducing the rather lame remnants of the romantic involvement left back in France, as the heroine decides to embark on the perilous journey to be re-united with her lover (actually, as far as we know, they only had some casual sex one night during which the chevalier didn’t even remove his wig).

Overall, the picture suffers from this structural inhomogeneity. I saw ladies who had been lured to see the film as a historical romance, get up and walk as it became clear that the romantic part is superficial and lame and the military part is bloody and unromantic. Even though there’s a lot of glamour, the scenes depend too heavily upon familiar clichés which were introduced by Hollywood about two generations ago.

The battle scenes are extremely well done. The recreation of brutally ineffective, senselessly life-squandering warfare is absolutely top notch. If you are interested in war films, this is as good as it gets. As it is very realistic, don’t expect much pathos or heroic fun: it’s dirty and stupid as any war is. You get beautiful women raped, shot and hanged, and hundreds of handsome youth being turned into cannon fodder. The positive – and surprising – thing is, that even though it’s a Russian film, the Russians aren’t necessarily the heroes. They have wronged the Poles, so these fraternize with the Swedes, who in turn afflict misery upon Ukrainians and others who are supposed to be the enemies. Czar Peter the Great is a universal Russian hero, and to see him sending a girl to the gallows (a girl, whose whole family has been butchered by the Russians and who only has lived for rightful revenge) is something that has never before been done in Russian cinema.

Also rather unique is the fact that the dialog is in authentic languages: first in French, then in Polish, then Swedish and then Russian (and Ukrainian). The cast is 100 % Russian, who have memorized the lines in according languages (phonetically in most cases, it seems), and then the dialog has been dubbed – also by Russians! The results are mixed. French sounds adequate, as does Polish. Unfortunately there haven’t been any Swedish-speakers around, so this part of the film is utterly ridiculous: even the word “Sverige” (Sweden) is pronounced totally wrong! To cover up the outcome, these scenes aren’t provided with subtitles, but instead we get a monotonic Russian voice translating the dialog. This distracts from the action quite a lot and is very much to be blamed for the ineffectiveness of these sequences. As this big budget project has obviously taken a huge amount of money, I wonder why they have allowed that minor obstacle to virtually ruin a lot of the film’s otherwise pristine historical accuracy.

I would have to state that this is a man’s picture. You don’t get the emotional depth, but you get a lot of very pretty girls (Ksenya Knyazeva is so superbly beautiful that for many viewers her presence on the screen is quite worthy of the ticket price). Then you get the very strong motive of friendship between two very different men, whose love-hate relationship carries much of the tension in the film. Most of the actors are good, even though it’s not very comfortable to mouth your way through the scenes without understanding yourself. The lighting and camera-work, as well as the art direction is first class and makes the film watchable even when you don’t believe what you see. Great pains have been taken to recreate the period, and the results are very good indeed. I am not sure what factors are responsible for the film not really clicking – probably a mixed bag of different undermining frivolities, such as listed above.

Worthy of a look for those interested in battle scenes and historical accuracy. To be avoided by those who look forward to either a fun epic spectacle, tantalizing love romance or deep Award winning drama.

Needless to say, this Servant of Two Masters is not based on the play by Carlo Goldoni.