top of page

movie review: bolshoi

映画レビュー: ボリショイ・バレエ 2人のスワン

Since I started learning Russian at university this September, I’ve naturally developed a curiosity for Russian culture, whether we are talking about literature, movies, traditions and so on. So, when our teacher pointed out to us students that the Russian Film Festival in Venice was taking place, I was only excited. There were two movies being screened, Ice and Bolshoi, and they were both in original language, being subtitled by students. And it was free entry!

9月から大学でロシア語を勉強するようになってから、文学、映画、伝統などロシアの文化に自然と興味を持つようになったんだけど、私の学校があるヴェネチアでロシア映画祭が行われるのを教授に教えてもらって行ってきたの。すごくワクワクしてたのを覚えてる。ロシア映画の二作品『Ice』と『Bolshoi (ボリショイ・バレエ 2人のスワン)』が上映されたの。音声はロシア語で、字幕は生徒によるものだった。入場は無料!

Today I would like to give to you my personal review about the movie Bolshoi. It is by popular Russian director Valery Todorovsky and it came out on May 2017 in Russia. As the name reflects, it talks about the life inside the ballet company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow. As I heard that the topic was ballet, I was immediately thrilled. I am very passionate about ballet, I find it one of the more beautiful and tough art forms that exist, and I myself practiced it for nearly 10 years.

今日はそのロシア映画の一つ、『Bolshoi (ボリショイ・バレエ 2人のスワン)』の個人的なレビューをシェアするね。この映画の監督は、Valery Rodorovskyというロシアの人気監督。2017年5月にロシアで公開された。(日本では2018年7月に公開。) タイトルの通り、ロシア・モスクワにあるボリショイ劇場が舞台で、その劇場の中のバレエ団のお話。バレエがこの映画のトピックだと聞いて、私は興奮したの。私はバレエが大好きで、本当に美しく、それと同時にタフな素晴らしい芸術だと思ってる。私自身も10年間、習っていたの。

Ballerinas have it tough: they work super hard, they devote themselves to beauty and perfection, and they live in an unhealthy, competitive environment. But how beautiful and effortless their moves look when they jump and fly on the stage! All this is perfectly portrayed in the movie. The director himself says that he had never been interested in ballet but then realized that behind the beauty and the performances there is a whole different world, mainly made up of big sacrifices.


The movie goes through three different ages of the life of the two main characters, Yulya and Karina, who have a difficult friendship, that is broken and put back together multiple times by different situations. They support each other but can’t help compete for the leading part in a performance of “The Swan Lake” at the Bolshoi Theatre. The two characters are played by two young ballerinas with little experience in acting. Even then, their talent is remarkable, in both dancing (of course, being professionals) and acting.


Another great thing about the movie was that many scenes were shot inside the real Bolshoi Theatre, which is definitely a privilege not given to many. The theatre is beautiful, golden, majestic, and reflects the magnificent and hard reality of beauty and art – and success. This movie in fact explores the boundaries between sacrifice and success, caring for others and personal achievements. It was thought as a novel by the director, and the original cut was three hours and an half long. He also hopes to make it into a tv series.


The movie has also been awarded for Best Screenplay at the Golden Eagle Awards and for Best Sound and Best Supporting Actress (Alisa Freyndlikh) at the Nika Awards, and has received nominations for 8 different categories.

I highly recommend this movie as it’s extremely insightful and different, especially for the way of narrating the story, which is not linear, and the photography, which made interesting choices in angles and colors and shooting. I found it had a total different approach on the topic than other movies or tv series. I was not disappointed at all, and actually made me even more curious about the culture of such a peculiar country.



日本語予告編 (Japanese)

English Trailer (英語予告編)

Images by "Bolshoi"

Japanese Translated by Hikari

bottom of page