Nonsense. Lermontov is in the very first scenes of The Red Shoes. He's your way in.
He's not my way into Victoria and her hopes and dreams, which is the core of the movie. I takes half the film to get into Julian Craster, who pulls Victoria in a direction away from Lermontov.
The Archers can have great openings, but they don't pull me in like A Matter of Life and Death, which is about our main relationship. Red Shoes starts with the students in the balcony. That pulls us into Lermontov, but not yet into the film. This is like how there's the great opening sequence to Colonel Blimp - "The war starts at midnight." - but it takes Clive Candy's deepening friendship with the German officer for the film itself to start taking on a lasting impact.