The most British film I've seen in quite a while. Which is a bit weird for a story that's supposed to be about the Russian Revolution. A cast of British actors prancing around in Spain just doesn't really read like Russia. It's a good thing Lean can fall back on some impressive visuals, otherwise this would've been a complete waste.
Zhivago, a promising young man, sees his life uprooted by World War I and the October Revolution. He marries and wants to dedicate his life to his family, but politics keep getting in the way of their plans to lead a peaceful life. A story quite epic in scope, though in the end it's really just a simple romance.
Performances are pretty poor, even ignoring the terrible casting choices for a moment. The story has its ups and down, but with more than 200 minutes to sit through there are too many parts that drag. The cinematography can be quite impressive, though it borders on kitsch. Let's call it a typical Lean film then.