Dark Eyes

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Year Released: 1987
Rating: 2.0

Gaudy, overblown adaptation of Chekhov by Mikhalkov, with Marcello Mastroianni recalling the story of his lost love and her lapdog to a stranger who unknowingly has a part to play in the tale (the ending is hopelessly contrived). Might have been emotionally affecting had the director not tried to make Mastroianni goofy and the movie some sort of farce in the style of Richard Lester or along the lines of Tom Jones, with the close-ups of grotesque cackling and flamboyant acting. The sets and costumes are a pleasure to look at, however, and the picture moves along effortlessly.