As someone who grew up watching Russian Cinema especially filmed during the times of the Soviet Union, I can see the differences between now and then and its context. Of course, war drama is a difficult subject to tackle. Knowing the ways of the Russian Cinema and their language, it is easy to recognize how neutral, objective, or subjective they are. Luckily, with “T-34”, it had few moments where I could tell, sure, this or that is too much but all of it was on an acceptable level to not interfere with what the film tried to convey. In that sense alone, it worked, to my great surprise.
T-34 is a World War-II era Soviet Medium tank used during the invasion of the Soviets. The same tank was used by Nikolay Ivushkin (Alexander Petrov), a tank commander who, after his short encounter with the Nazis, gets captured and is held in captivity for three years. 3 years later, at the German concentration camp, he was asked by Jäger (Vinzenz Kiefer), whose intention is to recruit a tank crew, asks Nikolay to fix the damaged T-34 and help train his crew for tank combat. Under great pressure, Nikolay agrees, however, he’s carrying a plan In his mind to escape.
The film itself is colorful, engaging, and never boring. Performance wise, if you don’t speak the Russian language and have to read the subtitles only, then you should be fine. However, for a native speaker, it’s a bit difficult to process the performances, as in certain scenes there is a lack of confidence in actors which is too noticeable to ignore. However, with T-34, it is more like an action that does not require much acting abilities, this is why this fact should not make you distance yourself from watching it.
T-34 as a whole has a great story. It’s remarkable seeing how one man tries and even outsmarts the Nazi officers in order to pull off his escape plan from the concentration camp and safely reach Moscow. From the historical point of view, there is a bit of exaggeration but that is unavoidable in the cinematic world. Some slow-motion scenes were a bit too much to process but the point of it, of course, is understandable – to capture little details that do not really add much significance to the outcome. In short, the film directed by Aleksey Sidorov is a decent war drama that certainly must be seen. But there is no need to leave everything aside and run the nearest cinema. It’s good enough to watch it at home with friends as it has some impressive scenes that deserve to be seen by more than just a few.