Sunday, 27 January 2013

Anna Karenina-review

 Let me start of by saying that I haven't seen the other adaptations of Anna Karenina before.However,I'm a bit familiar with the novel.Joe Wright's adaptation of the Russian's classic is definitely one of the stylish film of 2012.

The story takes place in Russia,where Anna a young mother and a respectable socialite travels to Moscow to save her brother Stiva failing marriage leaving her only son with her old husband Alexi Karenin..There,Anna meets the charming Vronsky and was smitten by his looks and generosity.At first,she tries to resist the temptation but finally succumbs to his advances and begins an affair with the young count.Another parallel storyline is the love story between Kitty who once craves for the attention of Vronsky and Levin ,an old friend of Stiva and a simple man with simple philosophy.The rest of the movie deals on the aftermath of both relationships and the differences of lust and love.

As for the screenplay,the first half is beautifully crafted with elegance while the second half did get a bit slow and lose its momentum .The concept of taking place on the stage was a bit distracting at the beginning but as the film progresses ,you get used to it.I actually enjoy this concept as it has a old feel to it like those days where even the outdoor scenes were shot in a set.Its a refreshing concept and kudos to Joe Wright for taking a risk.The sets and the costumes are magnificent.Without a doubt the best looking film of the year.The score was another plus point.I love all the traditional Russian music and the choreography of the dancing scene is a visual delight.The whole film is done with style.While it does work in most of the scenes for instance the love making scene between Anna and Vronsky,sometimes it does feel a bit too much.For example the scenes where the male characters wear their coats in a flamboyant manner or when they are doing paperwork.Sometimes it feels a bit gimmicky.

As this is a directors film and the concept does not let it actors shine much,although some do deliver decent performances.Keira Knightley as the titular character perfectly embodies all sides of Anna whether its the doting mother,the wife of a older guy,a naive women who is capable of making decisions but incapable of facing its aftermath.She looks gorgeous in the costumes and there were some scenes where she was really good.For instance the suicide scene,the scene of her confessing the affair and of course the race track scene.

Jude Law's performance is the most subtle one in the film but is one of the strongest.Alicia Vikander freshly coming from another period costume drama  portrays the dreamy Kitty well.Its a more feminine role than Caroline in the Royal Affair and her performance grew stronger as her character progresses  that during the second half I was more invested on her rather than Anna.While Aaron Johnson gives a okay performance,I still felt he was a serious miscast.I dont find him 'manly' enough to play Vronsky and for Anna to risk everything for this boy is not convincing enough.

Both  Jude Law and Matthew Macfadden would be a nice Vronsky or even Henry Cavill who would make a masculine handsome Vronsky.Matthew Macfadden as Stiva was a joy to watch.He is so charming throughout the movie that you forget that he is a womaniser.With him ,I get why the women are after him , something I hope to find in Aaron's Vronsky.

In the end,despite it's flaws during the second half,Anna Karenina is beautiful movie with some of the best technical work in a film.

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