(Photo: ← →
Date: 1904; Munich / Monaco, Germany *
Genre: genre painting
Media: oil, canvas
Tags: celebrations-and-festivals, Moscow, horsemen, Kremlin, Russia
Image dimension 750x373px, View all sizes)
Variety‘s critic Sonia Saraiya credited the documentary for its intimacy, but also wrote, “More often than not, Stone and Putin agree — on Edward Snowden, on American overreach, on Hillary Clinton. At times, Stone is skeptical of Putin, but for a leader strongly criticized for his civil rights abuses, it hardly seems that Stone is skeptical enough. On the other hand, there is some value in a profile that the subject finds flattering — it reveals who he wants to be.”
“You can’t do an Oliver Stone project and not be criticized,” Malhotra said. “He’s not trying to play a ‘gotcha’ game. He approached it with an idea: ‘If [Putin] is the great enemy of the United States, then I think we should go out and find who he is.'”
He adds, “There will definitely be a critique and scrutiny, but you have to admire the comprehensive nature of it.”
Malhotra makes some comparison of Stone’s Putin interviews to the Frost-Nixon conversations in 1977, in which David Frost sat down with Richard Nixon for a series of a dozen conversations over the course of four weeks. It marked the first time that Nixon had granted an extended interview since resigning the presidency three years earlier.
The difference, though, is that Putin has been doing other interviews. Megyn Kelly landed him for the recent debut of her new NBC newsmagazine. Malhotra said that they didn’t consider it “that big of a deal because we recognized how much time she would have with him.”
Malhotra said that what sets “The Putin Interviews” apart is the access that Stone got with Putin. He came away with more than 30 hours of footage was whittled down into the four-hour project, which will air over four nights this week. Putin talks not just about the U.S. election, but NATO, playing hockey, “Dr. Strangelove,” and Middle East strategy, among other topics.