“Anna Karenina”: Adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s great literature piece. 2 hours 10 minutes Director, Joe Wright, Screenplay by Tom Stoppard.
I read this timeless, classic novel when I was very young and remember it well to this day. Wright and Stoppard, apparently intent on giving it a new presentation, went completely in the wrong direction with this production. Where do I even begin? The setting starts on stage in a faux theater. Just as you might get into the story line, it flashes to another place, perhaps outside on a wintry landscape. And it does this repeatedly and repeatedly. The style of the film seems to actually distract from the story line; it does no justice to the extraordinary writing by Tolstoy to confuse the audience and deny them the opportunity of getting into the characters and their stories. I had no sympathy for the characters. Except for one scene when Anna thinks she is dying and brings together her husband and lover and receives her husband’s forgiveness; then, and only then I felt a mediocre amount of compassion and sympathy for the husband. Anna, as portrayed, can not be considered a heroine.
Casting is disappointing. The young Vronsky, for instance, is too pretty to play the role of a dashing, dangerous but charming young military officer. He was not well cast for this part. Anna (played by Keira Knightly) was cold and insensitive. Except for the scene mentioned above so was her husband (played by Jude Law).
Some things are best left alone. This was a real disappointment and a long two hours of viewing. ★