Anna Karenina

From time to time I like to participate in memes; my favourite ones being Skywatch Fridays and Our World Tuesday.  I used to participate in Scenic Sunday too except that it doesn't seem to be so active.  The last week on line was from October. Oh well, I will present anyway *wink.

I was at a local mall yesterday to see the new version of the movie "Anna Karenina". It is a movie I have seen before when Greta Garbo played the role of Anna.  I saw it as a child and the tragedy of Anna's story made such an impact on me that I never forgot the film.


Many years later, I read the book while on a journey to Kenya. I enjoyed the book very much though I felt it was overly long.  Of course this classic, by Leo Tolstoy, was translated from Russian into English and that likely had a bearing on the length of the book too.



If you take the time to view both the original trailer for the film and the trailer for the latest remake, you will see  just how differently the films were marketed to the public.


The actors Jude Law, as Aleksei Karenin the, husband to Anna, as played by Keira Knightley, are superb.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson, plays Count Vronsky, Anna's love interest, but I don't think he fully succeeded in bringing his character to life.  He looked great in his military uniform and carried himself well as a Count and as a cavalry officer.  But I did not feel a depth to the character that Count Vronsky needed to portray so we can understand why Anna would throw away her life for him.  In the book you get a better sense of why Anna finds him irresistibly attractive.

The other thing I did not like about the film is that it is set in a theatre.  This means you are constantly watching set changes glide in and out of the screen while you are trying to follow the story line, The sets are absolutely beautiful, but I personally did not like this approach.  I found it all quite distracting and unsatisfying.  When Count Vronsky falls off his stead at the racetrack, I would have far rather watched him ride his horse on a real track rather than on the theatre stage.  The theatrical approach worked for some of the film but overall I don't think it really worked for most of the story.  Finally, some of the actors, like the one who played Ann's brother, Steva, had a "campy" approach to his character and I don't think it was the right approach for the tone of the story which is rather serious.

The way this film is shot in a theatre and with some over the top, actors reminded me a lot of the film "Moulin Rouge".  However,  "Moulin Rouge" was a musical and I loved it.  "Anna Karenina" is not a musical and I didn't love it.  By the time two hours had passed, I was tired and eager to get out of the theatre but there was still more film to see.

I wouldn't discourage you from seeing this film.  Unlike me, you might actually enjoy the theatre setting.  You will definitely find the costumes and sets both sumptuous and beautiful. In addition, the tragic story of the consequences of illicit love does come through strongly as a result of  the marvellous acting of Jude Law and Keira Knightley.

While at the mall I was also fortunate to have seen a surprise dance performance.  I managed to capture it on video and will be sharing it in a few days.  Please come back and check it out as it is rather unique and will be a treat for you.

21 comments:

  1. I plan to read the book and see the movie, but will wait til it is on DVD. The original with Greta Garbo sounds intriguing.

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    1. Hi Terra, the book is a mostly satisfying read if you like long books with a well told story. Enjoy.

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  2. Hello Joyful
    Do not think that I know the movie .....
    I'm also a bit torn as to what I think and themes (challenges) think sometimes you have to take a break and just blogging plain .....
    Wish you a good day / good new week :)
    Hugs Hanne Bente

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    1. Hanne, you may not get the movie so quickly in your part of the world. Have a wonderful week!

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  3. Anna Karenina has always been a favourite novel of mine so I was delighted to hear about the new movie version and have seen it with my sister. Absolutely loved this brilliant adaptation.

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    1. Lindy Lou, I'm glad you enjoyed the movie! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. Happy week ahead.

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  4. This film is definitely on my list to see over the holidays, I just hope they keep it in theatres for that long! (they seem to take movies away much too quickly these days)

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    1. Hello Rosemary, I know what you mean about the movies disappearing so quickly these days. I try to see a movie as soon as it comes out for that very reason. I hope you get a chance to see it.

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  5. I have read the book ,but long ago. I have seen more than one movie about it. One was on the PBS. It is good but as we know has a sad & tragic ending.

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    1. Hi Myrna, I know there are several versions of the movie but I've only seen the one with Greta Garbo (possibly the original?) and the recent one with Keira Knightley. I know there is a version on youtube also but I haven't watched it, yet ;-)

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  6. Good morning Joyful
    Remember that I have seen the film many years ago on video.
    It's about a young woman and an officer .....
    Do I have to buy it on DVD and revisit it.
    Wish you a good day :)
    Hugs Hanne Bente

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    1. Hello Hanne, you can look for a DVD or even watch it on youtube (but it is a different version). I understand what you mean about taking a break from blogging challenges ;-) Have a wonderful day and thanks for visiting.

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  7. Interesting information. I hope new movie will be as good as old classic.

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    1. Hello Rajesh, once you see the film please let me know if you find it as good as the old classic. Thanks for your visit.

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  8. I love old films, so I think I would have enjoyed the older version much more than the newer one. I would probably feel the same way about it that you do, the theatre setting would not do much for me either.
    I love anything that Lucille Ball has played in, right now I'm watching her 1985 movie "Stone Pillow", a very different one for her. But, a very good one.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog, I will be back!!! I am interested in seeing the delightful dance that you caught.
    Hugs, Cindy

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    1. Cindy, it is too bad they don't have the Greta Garbo version on youtube. But if you get a chance, check out the other versions on youtube. They look quite good. I've only ever seen one Lucille Ball movie. I cannot recall what it was, but wasn't she a doll?!

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  9. This is the second review of this movie I've read this week. Your comments are pretty much the same as the other review.
    I'm sorry you left the theatre not completely satisfied with what you already knew was a great story. Shame. I'll be looking out for this in Australian cinemas over the summer. :)

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    1. Dorothy, it's interesting to hear that the first review you heard is similar to mine. I read a review in the local paper on the weekend and it was very positive. I hope you enjoy the movie when you see it.

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  10. Hi Joyful, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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