DOSTOYEVSKY: RUSSIAN CRITICS ON MIRONOV'S PERFORMANCE

The incomparable Russian actor Yevgeny Mironov stars as the classical author – another entry in a long list of the 45-year-old artist's unconditional screen successes.
Olga Taranenko, Olga Bougrova
Courtesy of rus.ruvr.ru, 2011

Instead of the gloomy Dostoyevsky of the iconic portrait by Perov, we see a living human being – a passionate, imperfect, decent man tuned in to the spirit of our times.
Literaturnaya gazeta, 2011

A Dostoyevsky biopic is doomed to failure if there is no actor for the lead. But the actor is there. And it's not just about Yevgeny Mironov's being an exceptional performer who has played Prince Myshkin in a popular miniseries and Ivan Karamazov in a stage production. On a basic level, it's about the specific nature of his gift and the transformations which his craft has undergone. It's about the unrivaled marksmanship of Mironov's splitsecond reactions: if you pressed "pause" to capture each one, it would take a book to describe the psychological landscape of a single scene. It's about his erratic, choppy rhythm, which takes nothing away from the density of his stage or screen existence. It's about the expressiveness of his muffled voice, abruptly breaking into a feverish patter where "letters pour out like tiny seeds"*... There is no doubt that this actor has bred himself for Dostoyevsky. ... Mironov's acting apparatus knows more about his character than [the screenwriter] ever did: it responds in spades to any truthful detail – and Dostoyevsky appears on the screen, even if the scene is nothing more than him rushing the coachman along.
Liliya Schitenbourg
Courtesy of online812.ru, 2011

Mironov's work is simply extraordinary.
Aleksandr Melman
Moskovskii komsomoletz, 2011

To me, this is the embodiment of Dostoyevsky and a major artistic triumph for Yevgeny Mironov. ... He is an actor of enormous range, the ultimate high-flyer. Zhenya Mironov doesn't just say his lines ... , he completely inhabits this character. ... A remarkable actor able to attain unfathomable depths.
Kseniya Larina
Courtesy of echo.msk.ru, 2011

The results are impressive, first and foremost because of the leading actor. In this film Yevgeny Mironov achieves colossal artistic stature. It's as if he were born to play the Russian classics.
Dmitri Souvorov
Uralskii rabochii, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov's incandescent performance does more for the film than the combined efforts of writer and director.
Arina Borodina
Kommersant, 2011

The series' uneven plot and the lack of depth inherent in the format were offset by the work of Yevgeny Mironov. ... The neverending magic of this actor – who'd invested in his Dostoyevsky more than he had, and certainly more than himself as he used to be – was like a locomotive that pulled one along from episode to episode, forcing one to make up what the filmmakers had missed. Mironov's performance in Dostoyevsky stops one from calling the project an unqualified failure.
Arina Borodina
Kommersant, 2011

When Yevgeny Mironov is not in the shot of Dostoyevsky, you can't wait for him to step back in.
Sousanna Alperina
Rossiiskaya gazeta – Nedelya, 2011

The actor carries and saves [the film]. Mironov's performance ensnares with the joy of recognition. That soft cracked voice, that slight stoop from the long hours at the writing desk, the eyes of one who has "felt great suffering" – it could only be Dostoyevsky. ... I know of no other actor who could have given us such a Dostoyevsky – a spirited, intelligent old friend with a heart that aches for Russia and for all of humanity.
Tatiana Mass
Courtesy of pravkniga.ru, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov in the title role ... passes a major test. ... His mobile face is quick to respond to any word or impulse of his co-stars. His eyes are positively drilling into people's faces and the world around him. His portrait of an anxious, pathologically passionate man tormented by desires and scruples convinces. ... A powerful and beguiling performance.
Tatiana Moskvina
Argumenty nedeli, 2011

I'm sold on Yevgeny Mironov. Genius expounding on genius – that's persuasive. It's "star with star holds convene"**.
Inna Kabysh
Literaturnaya gazeta, 2011

The director's biggest coup was signing Mironov as Dostoyevsky. The actor's performance clearly benefits from his recent experience playing Prince Myshkin and the hero of Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle. Add to that an explosiveness that quickly gives way to sentiment – so typical of those suffering from epilepsy – and the wheezing hoarseness of a man ran breathless by life, and you end up with a portrait that is as impressive as it is convincing.
Edouard Rusakov
Krasnoyarskii rabochii, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov shines in the role. The inner experience is externalized; the actor's ever-changing face bespeaks a mind ablaze; every minute of his presence onscreen is filled with intellectual tension. ... [He is] beautiful, meaningful ... , forceful and passionate, manly and whole. ... The cerebral angle is not developed in the script, and Mironov manages ... to fill the part with intellectual content without a single line. The part he plays is ten times as complex as what was written.
Pavel Roudnev
Courtesy of pavelrudnev.livejournal.com, 2011

Mironov loses himself in Dostoyevsky. It is this courageous performance, his changing expressions, his body language, that keep the whole thing together. ... And there's no point arguing how closely he resembles the original: nobody knows. Mironov plays a version, and his delivery makes it plenty believable.
Igor Volgin
TeleSem, 2011

An inner world of kindness, sincerity, vulnerability, compassion and anguish – this is what Yevgeny Mironov ... brilliantly succeeds in projecting. ... His performance is a complex metamorphosis which hits the target dead-on.
Pyotr Kouznetzov
Courtesy of ruskline.ru, 2011

What did ... Dostoyevsky sound like? Solving this challenge is Mironov's surest achievement. It sounds authentic – the hollow, gravelly voice of a man who's been through much and harbors many passions.
Aleksandr Goutov
Literaturnaya gazeta, 2011

Mironov shows his Dostoyevsky the way he sees him, and that's awesome. All that gambling and fooling around with women has more to do with pain than with being a cool rebel.
Pavel Sadkov
Komsomolskaya pravda, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov ... not only keeps up the tempo across the eight episodes and thirty-some years of Dostoyevsky's life, but does an amazing job of conveying its ragged, leapfrogging rhythm.
Aleksei Kolobrodov
Obschestvennoye mneniye, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov's unerring intuition ... deserves special mention: where he's given lines that are credible and make sense, he undergoes an instant transformation, and those moments are worth a fortune.
Pavel Basinsky, Liudmila Saraskina
Rossiiskaya gazeta, 2011

Yevgeny Mironov's ... role ... is a success, at times a resounding one. ... In the scene where Dostoyevsky gives a public reading of Notes from the Underground, Mironov's lips suddenly get fleshy and engorged – the very model of Svidrigailov's mouth! ... Thrusting his hands elbow-deep into pockets full of the gold he's won at the roulette – that's rich! In moments like these, the authenticity of his Dostoyevsky reaches improbable heights.
Valery Bondarenko
Courtesy of proza.ru, 2011

Mironov as Dostoyevsky is what keeps you watching. It's a truism, but Yevgeny Mironov is the rare actor who never repeats himself. His role here is a study in minutiae: a distinctive walk, a rounded back, a completely altered voice. In short, make it a must-see: Mironov is a luminary yet to be eclipsed.
Arina Borodina
Kommersant, 2011

This is no longer just artistry and beyond any degree of professionalism: this is living the role. Dostoyevsky seems to have taken root in Mironov. What need is there for words, then, when it's all in his eyes – by turns darting, steadfast, frantic, alive with unthinkable pain.
Aleksandr Melman
Moskovskii komsomoletz, 2011

The stunningly perceptive Yevgeny Mironov in the lead [is] the director's masterstroke.
Tatiana Mamayeva
Courtesy of e-vid.ru, 2011

A glorious creation of Yevgeny Mironov's, who is a (or at the very least verges on) genius. ... Mironov's Dostoyevsky is sensational.
Viktor Toporov
Courtesy of actualcomment.ru, 2011

This is a one-man show. Mironov's dedication can only inspire admiration and respect. The gait, the gestures, the facial expressions, even the voice are so far from Mironov's usual arsenal that there are times you could swear you've never seen this actor before. ... Throughout the seven episodes, Mironov ... is borderlining, existing at the limits of human emotion. ... Yevgeny Mironov pulls it off – by virtue of his hairsplitting perfectionism, his dogged commitment, his fanatical diligence, and the moxie of a pro. It was a gauntlet, and the actor stoutly took it up.
Kseniya Larina
Novye Izvestiya, 2011

Yevgey Mironov's acting ... makes it all worth it. ... Mironov is magnificent. ... The inner life of his Dostoyevsky, which speaks so powerfully through his eyes, through his "gestures and expressions"***, can't help but make the viewer feel the "breath of earth and destiny"****.
Igor Volgin
Literaturnaya gazeta, 2011

Mironov's acting ... deserves nothing less than an "A".
Aleksei Kourganov
Courtesy of proza.ru, 2011

Watching this, I fell madly in love – yet again – with Yevgeny Mironov. ... And I can't call the series a flop because he's in it. His performance made me tune in night after night. ... It's another feather in his acting cap.
Arina Borodina
Courtesy of svobodanews.ru, 2011

The hit of this production is the title role as interpreted by Yevgeny Mironov. In every aspect, his performance approaches genius. ... I caught myself believing that the man on the screen was not an actor but Dostoyevsky. ... No living actor could surpass Mironov in this difficult role. ... Only his brilliant acting saves the film.
Anton Zhogolev
Blagovest, 2011

This role is a pinnacle never to be forgotten by Yevgeny Mironov or his grateful audience.
Nelli Sokolova
Literaturnaya gazeta, 2011

*From Dostoyevsky's letters.
**From
I walk out alone into the darkness... (1841) by Mikhail Lermontov, courtesy of shigeku.org (uncredited).
***From
Richter (1980) by David Samoilov.
****From
Oh, had I known... (1932) by Boris Pasternak, translated by J.M. Cohen ©1959.


[Translated by Vlada Chernomordik for the Yevgeny Mironov Official Website]