"And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, ‘Come and see.' And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him." – The Book of Revelation 6:1-8
Anti-war movies are important because they aim to show the horrible side of war instead of telling a heroic tale that many other mainstream war movies do. Today’s film is one of the best examples of anti-war movies.
Come and See is a war movie directed by Elem Klimov, starring Aleksey Kravchenko. It tells the story of a young Belarussian boy, who joins the Soviet resistance movement against Nazi forces and experiences World War II.
The story starts with the main character Flyora, a young boy, finding a buried rifle and joining the Soviet resistance movement to fight for his country. At first, he seems excited and eager to participate in the ruthless conflict. After joining the war, Flyora follows his fellow soldiers and meets a young girl named Glasha at the resistance’s temporary headquarters. From that point on, he starts to experience the true side of the war and witnesses many kinds of unspeakable horrors.
Firstly, the story is told from Flyora’s perspective most of the time, yet he still doesn’t see everything that happens around him. Some things are witnessed exclusively by the side characters. What is good about this is that it makes the movie more immersive in my opinion because it gives a more natural feeling by showing us what the characters are going through firsthand. In addition to that, the storytelling revolves around the same concept: we follow the main character as he struggles to survive in this hellish conflict and sees numerous kinds of traumatic events around him, which makes the character more impactful and poignant. Additionally, the starring actor’s top-notch performance is one of the best parts of this film, it elevates the movie’s effect to an even higher degree.
Secondly, the cinematography and the soundtrack are also atmospheric and they fit the movie’s dark and bleak tone. It’s use of natural lighting and steady face camera makes the audience feel like they are actually in the environment. Furthermore, the combination of famous classical pieces and original tracks works perfectly in the movie’s realistic context and historical setting.
In brief, I think Come and See is an excellent anti-war movie that shows how awful the war actually is. Even though the movie feels slow-paced and stretched-out at times, it’s still a great film with an impactful story, realistic cinematography, an atmospheric soundtrack, and terrific acting. It’s definitely a movie you should watch and would probably never want to see again.