When I'm not screening piles of CVs

I'm at the movies or writing reviews

Anna Karenina

Written by Joy Dembo on . Posted in 2013

Anna Karenina – A classic Period Drama

When Shakespeare wrote “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players” he could well have been referring to the 2012 film version of Anna Karenina.  Director, Joe Wright, has successfully put a new spin on Tolstoy’s classic 1877 novel, (adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard), as most of the action takes place on a stage, within the movie!

The film  is set in Imperial Russia, in the late Nineteenth Century, and tells the tragic story of the Aristocratic, Anna Karenina,  married to a wealthy politician and respected in Russian High Society circles,  and her ill-fated love affair with the equally affluent and aristocratic Count Vronsky.

Alongside this forbidden love affair, runs a parallel love story between Konstantin Dimitrivich Levin (played by Domhnall Gleeson) and Kitty (Played by Alicia Vikander), which co-incidentally also involves Anna as Kitty initially rebuffs Levin’s proposal as she is in love with the same Count Vronsky, who subsequently becomes Anna’s lover.

And, to complicate matters further, Stiva, Anna’s brother and  his wife, Dolly are having marital issues, as Stiva has been unfaithful to her with the children’s governess.

In the late 1800s, Russian Society strives to emulate the French, and being accepted in Aristocratic and Socialite circles is very important.  Anna’s affair is frowned on and she becomes an outcast from Society.

Her patient and loving husband tries his best to forgive her and pick up the tatters of their loveless marriage, but Anna cannot give up Vronsky, no matter how hard she tries.

Anna stands to lose everything…her position in society, her son and her marriage.  And, being an adulteress, under Russian law, she would not be free to remarry.

How will this affect Vronsky’s love for her?  Can she cope with her fall from grace? Can Anna make the right choices?

If you haven’t read the novel, I wont be a spoiler!  Watch the movie and all will be revealed.

This movie is not for everyone, but if you have a penchant for period dramas, great love affairs, magnificent costumes, breathtaking sets, and all the pomp, ceremony, music and dancing associated with high society balls, opera and horse racing events, coupled with a very clever production where the actors seldom venture from the stage, then you will enjoy Anna Karenina.

Kira Knightly is superb in her role as Anna and Jude Law makes a gentle, if somewhat boring,  Karenin.  Vronsky is played by the dashing Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

I loved this move, but I am a sucker for period dramas and Kira Knightly!   Her performance as Anna reminded me of the role she played in “The Duchess”.  She is a polished professional, and these parts were truly made for her.

The movie has been classified  13 SV, and opens today, 01 February 2013, at theatres countrywide. It is a long show, so be prepared!

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