- You wholeheartedly embrace the adventure of reading such a venerated classic.
- You grit your teeth and swear that you will get through the stupid thing, even if it kills you.
- Or, you say to hell with it and just watch the movie.
Now, I'd heard a thing or two about director Joe Wright's film before I decided to sit down and take it in. Mainly the reviews were mixed at best, some enjoying Wright's daring take on the story, while others scratched their heads over what he was trying to do. When I hear such dissension over a much-touted film I'm always curious to see why.
|Keira Knightley as the|
lovely Anna Karenina.
In the beginning, we see Anna come to her brother Prince Stiva Oblonsky's aid as she tries to diffuse a tense atmosphere between Dolly, Stiva's wife and Stiva himself, because of his infidelity with the governess. The foreshadowing of what will become Anna's own infidelity is present in the scene where she's speaking with Dolly and asking her if she has enough love in her heart to continue on with Stiva. All Dolly can do is cry and say that none of it is her fault, so why is she supposed to be the one to clean up her husband's mess. Of course, Anna herself creates the same kind of mess in her dull, loveless marriage.
|Anna and Vronsky|
|Kitty and Konstantin proposing marriage through blocks.|
Here's the thing, although I struggled with and found that the staging of this film was crazily distracting, I thought the actors brought a healthy dose of humanity to one of the most famous literary infidelities of all time. Keira Knightley makes a very convincing Anna, although I've always imagined Anna's character as older. Taylor-Johnson, even with his distracting highlighted hair, pulls his emotions from deep within and throws them before the audience, hoping we will see how much he loves his darling Anna, but how much is too much sacrifice for happiness? Konstantin and Kitty's story is the most uplifting, bringing young love and tough decisions to the table, only to see that just because one is of royal blood doesn't mean one won't roll up one's sleeves and do the dirty work. And heck, your husband just might fall even more madly in love with you in the end!
I'm a little on the fence with this version of Anna Karenina, mainly because it's hard to follow with all the distracting scenery changes. But the story is still there, in all its sad, gorgeous, youthful glory. If you're looking for a more literary interpretation of Tolstoy's story then might I suggest this version of Anna Karenina.
What are your thoughts? Have you seen this film and have an opinion to add?