Offers some beautiful photography of wintry Russian landscapes, but as a drama it falls flat and feels twice as long as it actually is. I kept checking my watch, in fact. The twist in the final act was more or less nicely directed, if a bit of a random turn, but the central romance between the rich maiden heiress Mariya (Valentina Titova) and her Russian Army Officer suitor (Georgi Martinyuk) had no passion whatsoever. Or at least, I didn’t feel any. And the flashback story of Mariya’s heartache over an elopement gone fatefully wrong three years prior wasn’t any more interesting, since her love interest in that case, another young officer (Oleg Vidov) was a complete fucking nitwit. His big breakdown scene afterward was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Sorry, Oleg. I’m sure the story read better on the page from where it originally came, but as a film that relies too much on intrusive narration that apparently decided the actors couldn’t be trusted to convey the story, it’s a modest – but still respectable on some levels - failure.