2 June 2020 | ilovesaturdays
A salute to the spirit of science and scientists!
This is a story of 3 friends who are all physicists: Dmitri, Ilya and Lyolya. Of these three, Dmitri is the most optimistic about the future of physics and how the advancements would help the masses. He has ambitions to harness nuclear energy to meet the world's increasing demands for power supply. Dmitri and Lyolya get married in what has to be a typical scientific celebration, replete with debates which at some point of time involve a guest performing calculations on a paper napkin while some other guests look on.
Be forewarned, this movie can be quite depressing, but the good thing is that it gives you a feel of how science actually works. There sure are ups and downs along the way. On the few days when the experiments actually work, one feels a certain sense of elation and satisfaction that is unparalleled. The scene in the film when they achieve the stream of neutrons and all these grown-up scientists jump up with joy is so beautifully done, that it includes the viewer in the celebration. However, science is not all glory. There are many days when the experiments just won't work, no matter what you do. And these are the days that can get one into severe depression, especially if you pour your heart and soul into it. That way lies madness and depression for some unfortunate people.
It's not just the scientists who pay the price, but their family's also get caught up in the whole thing. The scene where Ilya goes home and his father tells him that he had broken his deceased mother's heart by not visiting them is very poignant. Even his wife who loves him and is dedicated to his cause finds herself neglected, and wonders why she ever got married. Moreover, due to radiation exposure, Ilya is losing his health.
Nowadays, many scientists can lay claim to leading deeply fulfilling personal lives. But let's not forget that over the years, many scientists have paid dearly while trying to contribute to their respective fields. The meager pay, the demanding working hours and the fickleness of science have taken a great toll on their health & personal lives. The only thing that could compensate for it all would be getting credit for their work. However, due to innumerable reasons, many scientists have been denied that too. This film is a tribute to all those unknown faces, the scientists and their families, whose names shall never be known but whose contributions have made this planet a better place. Humanity is deeply indebted to these people.
I'm rating it a 7 because personally, it is too hard-hitting for me and I could never rewatch it.