By the Bluest of Seas packs in so many wonderful emotions into a mere 70 minutes running time, that I am in complete awe of director Boris Barnet. The story of two friends working, living, and falling in love on an island is just so charming that it makes for a perfect romantic-comedy.
Yusuf (Lev Sverdlin) and Alyosha (Nikolai Kruychkov) are both quick to fall in love with Masha (Yelena Kuzmina) when they arrive at a "collective farm" to work after being shipwrecked in a storm on the Caspian Sea. What follows is a series of mini-adventures, slapstick comedy, musical interludes, and romantic moments as the love triangle moves towards an unpredictable end.
Similar to his film Outskirts, Boris Barnet has a way to make the audience uneasy by merging tragedy with comedy in the most unexpected of times and places. While By the Bluest of Seas is not as politically driven or serious a film as Outskirts, the trademark tragicomedy is ever-present from the very beginning when Yusuf, being rescued after the shipwreck, is more concerned about feeling ticklish than getting to safety. Such emotional highs and lows run throughout the film keeping the viewer engrossed along with being fascinated by the wonderful film making techniques used by the director during the early sound period.
By the Bluest of Seas manages to romanticize the beauty of the sea by depicting it in its many forms; from high thunderous waves to the calm serene waters reflecting the suns rays, the sea follows the moods of the characters. Once again, as in his other films, Boris Barnet also manages to capture the most basic of human emotions such as jealousy, excitement, disgust, and betrayal in his portrayal of love found and lost.
By the Bluest of Seas is a charming little early sound period film that stays away from the state of the nation at the time and focuses more on the human aspects of love, friendship, and the joy of enjoying life for what it is.
For being one of the earliest perfect date movies I've ever seen, By the Bluest of Seas gets a 5/5 star rating and a spot in my list of films that are essential viewings.
DVD: Mr. Bongo Films
Title: By the Bluest of Seas
Release Date: 12th November 2012
Running Time: 69 minutes