Masquerade | Chicago Reader

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Set among aristocrats in czarist times, this 1941 Soviet studio drama is as artificial as any Hollywood product. When a woman loses a bracelet at a masked ball, her husband suspects she's given it to a lover; his burgeoning jealously turns him into (in her translated words) “a monster.” Director Sergei Gerasimov includes some spectacular camera movements through the rooms of grand palaces, but otherwise his direction is more insipid than inspired. Sometimes the exaggerated emotions of melodrama succeed in illuminating characters' lives; here the histrionics feel like a futile attempt to pump up the volume. In Russian with subtitles. 105 min.

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