War is one of the most terrifying things to happen to mankind. It is brutal, unforgivable and absolutely devastating. In Come and See, a story centred on the life of Flyora and the consequences of war over several months, war is depicted in the most savage and discomforting way. We see explosions, death, tears, cruelty and above all we see the life of this young boy torn apart by that very thing.
Aleksei Kravchenko plays Flyora, our young protagonist. Kravchenko’s portrayal of this young, lonely figure is nothing less than incredible. He shows anger, love, sadness and hate and fills his boots with the challenging character in a way I’ve never seen an actor do in my lifetime. Considering Kravchenko was only 14 at the time of filming; it makes his sombre, penetrating performance even the more magnificent. Kravchenko’s chemistry which the character of Glasha, of whom he encounters early on, is without a doubt one of the strongest elements of the film. In the strangest of ways, the scenes between the two in the first act of the film allow the audience to connect with their desperation and trials and tribulations, creating several bloodstained emotional rollercoaster’s along the way. Desperation is one of the most essential, and expected elements of any war movie, but in this particular depiction of war, it is at its most effective and terrifying.
Come and See, one of the most effectively powerful movies of all-time is a master class in emotion, terror and fear, and on a technical basis; the lighting, the effects and the framing are as precise as anything. Come and See, ultimately, is the perfect war film. It is a film drenched in atmosphere, dread and intensity and now, on a bold note, it is my favourite film. Toppling over the masterpiece that is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Come and See truly presents war in even more horrifying terms with shots that will not leave the minds of viewers for a very long time. Nothing can prepare you. Come and See is an experience, for sure.