Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Film Review: "Anna Karenina" (2013).




Fyodor Dostoevsky declared the novel to be "flawless as a work of art". Which is what this rendition of Anna Karenina attempts to bring to the big screen. This British drama film directed by Joe Wright and adapted by Tom Stoppard from Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel of the same name. Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the film depicts the tragedy of married aristocrat and socialite Anna Karenina and her life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.

Anna Karenina (Анна Каренина) is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov over political issues that arose in the final installment (Tolstoy's unpopular views of volunteers going to Serbia); therefore, the novel's first complete appearance was in book form. Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel. Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired "the flawless magic of Tolstoy's style", and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as "the best ever written". The novel is currently enjoying popularity, as demonstrated by a recent poll of 125 contemporary authors by J. Peder Zane, published in 2007 in "The Top Ten" in Time, which declared that Anna Karenina is the "greatest novel ever written."

Joe Wright was hired to direct an adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina, his fourth collaboration with Working Title Films. The cast include Keira Knightley as Anna, Jude Law as her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her young love, and Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson as Konstantin Levin, as well as Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Matthew Macfadyen, Michelle Dockery, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. Saoirse Ronan and Andrea Riseborough were initially cast in the film, but dropped out and were replaced by Alicia Vikander and Ruth Wilson. In July 2011, the cast began rehearsals, in preparation for principal filming which began on October 2011.

Keira Knightley stars in the lead role as Karenina, marking her third collaboration with Wright, while Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson appear as Alexei Karenin and Vronsky, respectively. The performances were terrifically portrayed even though the film's script substance over style. Knightley was excellent and superb when I noticed how she continues to go with strength. But somehow I felt she was luminous in the role. Law was excellent. Johnson was also excellent. This also applies to the rest of the cast who gave excellent and terrific performances.

A bold reimagining of the classic novel, Wright's vision for the film is very reminiscent to the films of Powell and Pressburger. Even though the film is going to divide people enormously. Anna Karenina features strong performances, brilliant cinematography and a unique set pieces. Featuring deft performances from Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor Johnson, it's a successful adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel.

Simon says Anna Karenina receives:


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