Movie Review: Anna Karenina
Tis the timeless classic on the big screen, a regal historical drama set in 19th century Russia following the rise and fall of aristocrat Anna Karenina through her love affair with a Count, betraying and embarrassing her husband Karenin, a popular and public government official.
Who’s In It:
Keira Knightley stars in yet another period drama, this time embodying the beauty, naïve, and bold heroine. Jude Law plays her tempered and loyal husband, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the mysterious and passionate man who drives the marriage apart, with his piercing eyes and pale white skin.
A captivating spectacle from start to finish, the film benefits greatly from a pair of writers: Leo Tolstoy, of course, but just as significantly in this case, Tom Stoppard, who wrote the screenplay. The first 20 minutes are a remarkable lyrical work, with dialogue flowing like music, and a set that changes in front of our eyes as characters pass through.
Director Joe Wright makes an elaborate theatrical production of the rich story, parting the curtains in the beginning, and altering the lavish and clever set behind as one would a stage show. This is the third time working with Ms. Knightley, as the two paired up on Atonement and Pride & Prejudice, though this is arguable the two at their best.
Paced perfectly, the film manages the parallels lines of story-telling with subtly and deft. We watch as Anna and others gives consul to her brother and his wife after his infidelity, as well as watch idealistic and humble Levin, blinded by love, court the initially unobtainable Kitty.
Despite knowing the outcome, you’ll feel both the love and the heartache. You get to sit in on the ornate and colourful parties and watch high society, but too are forced to experience the harsh cold of a Russian winter. It is a sumptuous piece of wonderful filmmaking and compelling storytelling that transcends time.
Romantic love will be the last delusion of the old order.
How To See It:
The theatre offers a curious element as while sitting there in the darkness among rows of moviegoers, you are in fact seeing a film presented as a hybrid stage production. The music and visuals are worthy enough to check out on the big screen to be sure. Whether or not you want to see it with your significant other and broach the subject of infidelity and eternal love, well, that may need to be taken into consideration too.