The Heritage of Love is a big-budget Russian love story. Andrey Kulikov is a lieutenant in the White Army, with Javier Bardem good looks. He falls for wide-eyed Princess Vera (Svetlana Ivanova), in the midst of the First World War and subsequent revolution.
War. Revolution. Love. If TV soap operas such as Downton Abbey or War & Peace are your cup of tea, the this one is for you. The Heritage of Love can be added to this list of nostalgic productions, yearning for the good-old-days where the aristos were in charge. It is certainly the trend at the moment to tell sympathetic stories of the kindly ruling classes: wealthy landowners and royalty. Because they have hearts, just like the peasants, and being so rich in the face of poverty is a big responsibility. We can add new Netflix fare The Crown to the list while we’re at it.
The soundtrack is made up of Eurovision-worthy ballads, which is appropriate because leading man Dima Bilan represented Russia at the 2006 contest, and won it in 2008 with the utterly forgettable ‘Believe’. This goes some way to explaining the box office success for The Heritage of Love in its native land. Bilan also plays the great grandson of Andrey Kulikov (everyone repeats his full name throughout the film, adding gravity to proceedings) who runs around present day Paris searching for a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to Vera. Oh it’s just too damn romantic, and based on a true story, don’t ya know.
Director Yuriy Vasilev is apparently known for his acting in musicals and romance, but it looks like he has a flair for war as a director. The most entertaining sequences of The Heritage of Love are the battle scenes. They are explosive and spectacular, which is a relief after all of that romance and swooning.
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