Why Nikolai From War And Peace Was A Bit Of A Bastard
Proof that not all happy endings are deserved.
7.2 million people tuned in to watch the finale of War and Peace last night, where lovely Pierre (Paul Dano) finally got the girl he deserved and Natasha (Lily James) was ‘forgiven’ for the terrible, life-ruining crime of briefly flirting with another man.
‘Do you think you could love me?’ Pierre asked Natasha with the sort of quiet, vulnerable intensity that only a very fine actor like Dano can really pull off. ‘Yes, I could’ Natasha replied, ‘I do.’
‘Hooray!’ we all cried from our sofas as the pair sealed it with a kiss.
But as the credits rolled over a futuristic scene of Natasha, Pierre and extended family enjoying an idyllic summer picnic, this writer couldn’t help but feel a little pang of annoyance at the other ‘happy ending’ of the series. That of Natasha’s brother Nikolai and Princess Marya.
Because really, wasn’t Nikolai a bit of a bastard?
Fickle, brattish, spoiled, Nikolai Rostov (played by Jack Lowden) spent most of the series using his poor cousin Sonya’s heart like a stress ball. He’d make soppy moon eyes across the drawing room at her, draw her into corridors and tell her they’d be married soon as he got back from war, only to trot off to battle and decide he’s not really a one-woman sort of guy after all.
Video: marya & nikolai | their story | "how long I've been waiting for you" [war and peace bbc]
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