With Fire and Sword

1999

Adventure / Drama / History / Romance / War

0
IMDb Rating 7 10 4205

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Izabella Scorupco as Helena Kurcewiczówna
Daniel Olbrychski as Tugai Bey

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gwailo247 7 / 10

Good period piece with a bit for everyone

As a movie based on a book that is a staple of Polish reading, it is bound to attract its adherents and detractors. But overall it has enough merit to it to warrant at least a single viewing.

The story is set in the 17th century, during a period of strife on the eastern fringes of Polish territory, in today's Ukraine. The main plot centers around a rebellion of Cossacks against the oppression of Polish landowners, in the greater setting of a conflict between Poland, Muscovy and the Tartars.The book was written from a Polish standpoint, so there is some obvious favoritism shown, but the main characters are not one dimensional. The motivations of the characters are clearly explained, and the good guy is not always good, and the bad guy is not always bad. The political intricacies may be a bit confusing, but at its heart this movie is a love triangle, so as long as you focus on that, you can follow along.

The main reason to watch this movie is visual. If you are one of those people who likes to have a movie transport them to another time and place, this movie is for you. The costumes, props and scenery are simply beautiful. All the characters speak in the language they are supposed to speak, so you have conversations in Polish, Ukranian and even Tartar. The performances by the main characters are wonderful, ranging from comedy to romance to drama to action.

The movie has a bit of something for everyone. If you like action, the battle sequences are fantastic, very massive in scale. If you like romance, the lead characters are not too hard on the eyes, and their passionate feelings come across the screen quite strongly. There is a very strong comedy element as well, but you might have to understand Polish to appreciate it fully.

The special effects in this movie leave a bit to be desired. It certainly is a bloody, and at times gory film, but really no worse than a lot of recent US offerings.

If I was to use a US movie as a thematic comparison, Last of the Mohicans might be a good choice, with the hero looking for his love in a wild and savage environment.

Overall I would recommend this movie to fans of historical films. The plot is fairly straightforward, so you can focus on watching the visuals instead.

Reviewed by denis888 10 / 10

One of the greatest Polish movies ever made

I first saw Ogniem I Mieczem in Poland in 2000, where I was working and learning Polish. That is true that one has to know Polish well enough to perceive this magnificent epic drama, but at the same time this film was broad-casted in Russia, my homeland, dubbed into Russian, and many people watched it and loved it very much. I agree that you have probably to be Polish to understand this film, but this is not a must. All you need is some basic knowledge of the Polish – Russian – Ukrainian history of the 17th century. Terrible wars were waging all that time between Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Since there are three nations close to one another, that conflict made it all even worse, when true brothers were killing each other. Jerzy Hoffman is a real master of the historical movies; he had already achieved great popularity with Potop and Pan Wolodyjowski, two other films based as Ogniem I Mieczem on the novels of the Nobel Prize Winner Henryk Sienkiewicz. Thus, in OiM he managed to depict very tragic and romantic events on a really grand scale. The battle scenes are simply second to none, and you feel all that pain and suffering of people fighting there. The scene when the Ukrainian army under Bohdan Chmelnicki (played by the famous Ukrainian actor Bohdan Stupka) attacks continually the castle called Zbararz is impeccable. The casting job was also done marvelously. You cannot imagine anybody else but the Russian film star Alexander Domogarov in the part of Jurek Bohun, a riotous Ukrainian colonel. He plays with such unrestrained passion and vigor that, even being certainly a "baddie", he arouses a great sympathy and admiration. Isabella Scorupco is an excellent choice for the main female part (the love story in the movie is very touching and likewise very tragic), while Zbiegniew Zamachowski is great playing a small but brave feigner and loyal soldier. The famous Polish actor Marek Kondrat is there in a very small but highly emotional role of the king Jan Kazimierz, weak and powerless ruler whose heart aches for his Motherland. Also, pay attention to a merciless but brave Count Jeremi Wisniewiecki, who tried all his best to put an end to that horrible war. And it's impossible to forget another Ukrainian actress, Ruslana Pysanka in the role of the witch Horpyna – her performance is blood-chilling and at the same time very entertaining. In fact, all, even smaller parts of this crew (Pan Zagloba, Senator Kissiel, Tuhaj-Bej, Tatarczuk, Longin Podbipieta) are in their places and add much to the film. The nature scenes are another plus of this film; you cannot but admire the wide open plains, slow waters, deep forests and snowy mountains all shown with real gusto. Music adds another dimension, this mix of Russian, Polish and Ukrainian folk tunes serves its duty – it trills you, holds you all the time and stays in your ears long after the movie ended. I was thrilled after having watched this epic for the 1st time, and this feeling remains in me even after numerous re-runs. What I really love in this film is the main message that Mr. Hoffman made clear – a civil war is terrible, no aim and no word may justify this entire bloody massacre. The final scene when we learn that all this heroic struggle of the Poles was in fact in vain is deeply touching and I can understand all those who were weeping while watching. No, you don't have to be a Pole yourself to catch the main idea of the movie. You simply have to be a person with a big heart and sincere feelings to feel pain, suffering, strife and grief of the oppressed. This movie is a splendid work of art of the big master, having lost none of its emotional message with the run of time. Highly recommended

Reviewed by ladyeuthanasia 8 / 10

Loved it!

If you love war epics, great sword work, and quirky characters, this movie is unbelievably good. They must have poured an incredible amount of money into the costuming, as well, because the entire production looked amazing. The film's length wore on me at times, but I loved those characters so much that I almost didn't want the film to end. If you don't like bloodshed, then don't watch a freakin' war movie. But if you do, you will not be disappointed by this film in the least. The battle sequences are at times stunning and all beautifully coordinated. I can't think of a single fight that didn't just completely kick bottom.

As for the yum factor, the bad guy Bohun is incredibly hot. He's like a Cossack Heathcliff. Both he and the "good guy" (there really aren't any good guys in this film) were droolable. The Princess was lovely, but too clean for all her adventures. That was the only real Hollywoodism of which the film can be convicted.

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