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The Admiral

by Ben on April 13, 2011

The Admiral is another story of Russia around the time of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution.  Like And Quiet Flows the Don, it follows the story of someone who remained loyal to the Tsar and served in the White Russian forces.  In this case it is Aleksandr Kolchak the head of the Russian fleet.

Like in And Quiet Flows the Don, adultery is a central theme of this movie.  I wonder if this is supposed to symbolize that during the Russian Revolution the Russians were committing adultery against their Mother Russia by brutally killing of each other.  Kolchak leaves his wife Anna Kolchuck for the wife of one of his subordinate officers Anna Timiryova. The love that Aleksandr and Anna Timiryova share is intense.  It is sad to see their romance ended (by a bullet) as the  Russian Imperialist army collapses.  However, their sadness it is juxtaposed against the coldness with which they treated their spouses whome they had promised eternal loyalty.  It is a terrible breach of brotherhood and honor to steal the wife of a subordinate officer and desert the mother of your children.  Aleksander does this but shows is somewhat remorse.  Anna Timiryova on the other hand leaves her husband coldly and shows no emotion when she deserts her husband for a more alpha man.  It is a perfect demonstration of Roissy’s saying that most women prefer “five minutes of alpha” to “five years of beta.”

This movie is a historical love story, so the millions (?) of deaths take a back seat to the marital turmoil of Admiral Kolchuck; however, the bloodthirstiness of the communists is shown in detail.  Most of the officers are summarily executed and dumped into the harbor.  There is a close call when the seamen demand the weapons of the officers on Admiral Kolchuk’s vessel; however, the officers are not all killed (that we see).  The Imperial forces undoubtedly conducted similar executions but these are not shown.

The desperate plight of the Russian forces towards the end of the revolution is shown.  The White Army runs completely out of ammunition.  They know they will be executed if they surrender so they choose to go out by with a bayonet attack.  They are spurred to victory when a female nurse on the front lines is hit by a bullet.  How anyone can get outraged when someone standing in the front row of a charge into machine gun fire is shot is beyond me, but in the movie this does inspire the Russian army to a heroic victory.

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