Πέμπτη, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2013

IMDb - Review for "Anna Karenina"

The claustrophobic world of "Anna Karenina", 9 January 2013

Author: Costas Papachristou from Athens, Greece

The transfer of a classic novel to the big screen is no easy task. In addition to merely representing facts, the director must guide the actors to express the inner dimensions of the drama. More so when this is the work of a great anatomist of the human soul and character!

Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" experienced several film and television adaptations (notable being those of 1935 and 1948). Recently, another cinematic attempt to approach the classic masterpiece made its appearance in theaters ("Anna Karenina", UK 2012), directed by Joe Wright ("Atonement", "Pride & Prejudice").

Let us recall the story: Anna Karenina is a Russian aristocrat of the late 19th century, married to Alexei Karenin, a mild-tempered government official considered a "saint" in Russia. Despite her affluent and honorable life, Anna is willing to sacrifice her status in society –and even her own son- for a passionate affair with a young cavalry officer, causing a scandal in the conservative Russian aristocracy...

The film inevitably evokes comparison with Laurence Olivier's classic, "Henry V" (1944). Both movies begin as filmed performances of a theatrical play. The basic difference is that Olivier's film masterfully escapes in the real world, eventually acquiring a purely cinematic form, which Wright's claustrophobic approach stubbornly refuses to do (with the exception of a few scenes), exhausting its material (not always in the most elegant way) within the space of an almost metaphysical theater.

The film suffers from a rather loose editing that makes it seem somewhat longer than it should be. The sets and costumes, though, are impressive, as is the wonderful music scoring by Dario Marianelli. With regard to casting, the choice of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky was an unfortunate one. As another reviewer aptly remarked, he might have been a proper choice in a story where the heroine seduces a schoolboy, but he certainly isn't quite convincing as a fatal lover who could make an aristocrat's wife become infatuated to the point of absolute self- destruction!

Keira Knightley also misses the target. Instead of the refined, mature, morally conscious and deeply human and down-to-earth lady of high society, she delivers a shallow, self-important and emotionally immature young woman who can hardly win sympathies as a heroine of a tragedy. In my opinion, Tilda Swinton would probably have been a better choice! On the contrary, Jude Law gives an excellent performance as an apparently colorless, though deeply tragic, Alexei Karenin.

In conclusion, one should certainly not expect to witness a deep penetration into the intellectually and emotionally complex world of Tolstoy. If, on the other hand, one is simply looking for a two-hour, good-quality entertainment, then this is definitely a film one wouldn't want to miss!

Source: IMDb

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου