Often film adaptations have the problem that long, detailed novels have to be condensed or heavily cut in order to fit the running time of a feature. Here, that is decidedly not the case, as Pushkin's original story is very short indeed. Instead Maslennikov attempts that thing which is often mentioned but rarely actually tried. an actual literal adaption. That is to say, he maintains fidelity to Pushkin's text very closely, and introduces a narrator to read the narrations. It's hard to think of two more different writers than Arthur Conan Doyle and Aleksandr Pushkin, but this adaptation of Pushkin's short story "The Queen of Spades" couldn't help but remind me slightly of the Sherlock Holmes films that were also excellently and delicately directed by Igor Maslennikov. With them this film shared not only the presence of Vitali "Watson" Solomin in a good role, but also a close attention to lush but not overstated visual detail, and some wonderful location work that confidently recreates the nineteenth century.
The Queen of Spades (opera.