I'd never read the book and had never seen a previous version nor read any reviews, so I was coming to the film with no foreknowledge but some expectations. From the previews I expected to see an epic film with sweeping scenes of Russia and a cast of thousands. Imagine my chagrin when the opening scene was being acted in a stage setting, a technique which was repeated throughout the film -- and the stage settings weren't even that well done. Some of the shots like the one which took place at the rail station in the snow looked like they were staged with cardboard cutouts in the background. I was very disappointed and lost interest in the movie as it progressed.