I was scared of myself while watching Come & See. The characters in the movie look straight into the camera, with gazes and faces which will penetrate anyone’s heart, and run, amok with fear, as if the viewer himself is a devil they have come face to face with. It creates a ghastly atmosphere for the events set to unfold, which are an exploration into the evil which resides within all of us.
Almost all war movies maintain a zeal for self-censorship with respect to the audience. Come & See however keeps hold of its colossal power on its audience through the brutal violence it showcases, turning my living room into a battlefield in itself. It didn’t have shots fired all around it, but I could sense my living room being filled with all the emotions of the characters of Come & See, and to needlessly clarify, none of them are anything close to pleasant. The movie works as dissection of the human conditions during the World War II and all its despicable violence. It seems to encompass all of life itself, even paving a way for a lust-driven, yet heartfelt romance which we root for.
Albus Dumbeldore once said ‘Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.’ There is a scene in this movie where hundreds of villagers are burnt alive in a woodshed. Their screams of anguish create immeasurable dread further accentuated by the laughs of the Nazis. Tears welled up in eyes not for the victims, but for the survivors. How can one ever witness such inhumanity and not lose faith in life ? Klimov begs us to feel sorry, not for the dead, but for the living who die with every passing second of their lives due to the indelible scars the violence which materialized has left on their minds. The ones who will be plagued the rest of their lives with nightmares of their dear and near ones getting burnt to death. The ones who will have to live their rest of their lives trying to forget those cries of anguish.
Come & See isn’t without its own share of faults. It is not devoid of melodrama at times, and in the end, a patriotic streak towards Russia. However, none of these flaws seem have any effect on the final turnout. That maybe because unlike other movies which act like puppies wanting to be petted by everyone, Come & See actually takes a stance. Fearlessly it proclaims what it actually thinks about the SS soldiers – Satan in a uniform.
RATING :- 9.3 / 10
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