I love you…as I have never loved before…Have I any hope?
–Prince Andrei Bolkonsky
WAR AND PEACE is based on Tolstoy’s massive 1000+ page long book. As I’ve not read W&P, I can’t say the adaptation is faithful to the book. All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed the hours spent watching this series. By the end I was smiling and crying and had a pile of tissues by my side.
W&P is a story about love and forgiveness during the Napoleonic wars. To me, as I’m a major romance-junkie, my attention was mainly focused on blossoming relationship between Natasha Rostova and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky.
The naïve and hopelessly romantic Natasha first sees Bolkonsky at a party, which marks the turning point in her life. Not only does she find herself infatuated with the cynical (and married) Bolkonsky, but she, along with all the other women, discover that they will have to let go of their men. The men have been called to join the army to fight against Napoleon.
Bolkonsky goes off to war, and it is at Austerlitz that he realizes that man cannot live for glory alone, so he is determined to return home and refocus his life on his family—to love the wife he had been neglecting for so long.
His wife passes away and he is left in complete misery. It is during this period that Bolkonsky meets Natasha again. Her enthusiasm for life enchants and bewilders him. He eventually falls in love with her.
But then war tears them apart again.
Natasha is left to wait for the Prince for a year, in which her devotion is tested…
As for the Prince, when he returns back from the war, his love for Natasha is also tested by the changes brought by their time apart…
This is one of the very, very few period dramas that not only gave me heart-palpitations but really moved me to the core. It’s not to say that this was a perfect series. However, the issues I had with it could be overlooked, as the message behind the story was so powerful. SO powerful that I now am determined to to finish reading the book (within my lifetime). If anyone has read it, please leave a comment, and tell me how great this novel is.