Thursday, 25 August 2016

ANNA KARENINA (film) went under the train long before its climatic scene

Cast: Kiera Knightley; Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Jude Law; Kelly MacDonald; Matthew MacFayden; Domhnall Gleeson; Olivia Williams; Emily Watson.
Content Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and violence.
Director: Joe Wright.
Year: 2012.
Source: Bought.

Trapped in a loveless marriage, aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.

Overall, I was very disappointed.

The script was painfully slow-moving, the story was foggy and vague, and the brilliant talents of Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, and Matthew MacFadyen were solely underused in a tragic romance where the miscasts took centre stage.
Visually, however, the film was stunning. The costumes were gorgeous and the cinematography was beautiful. It was clear that the creators favoured appearance over substance.
The secondary cast was very good, especially Domhnall Gleeson and Matthew MacFadyen.
I’m a big fan of Alicia Vikander, but it’s only towards the end that her character actually became watchable. Matthew MacFadyen was refreshing comic-relief, and I only wish we’d seen more of him.
Out of the three leads, Jude Law was the only one to fit his role perfectly; he played his part subtly and brilliantly. His performance was flawless.
Aaron Taylor Johnson was watchable, but the blonde hair just didn’t work for me. Most of the time he looked out of place; with a watery performance that matched only Knightley’s.
I have never liked Kiera Knightley as an actress, but I was ready to put aside my bias and look for the positives in her performance. Unfortunately, I only found her acting more infuriating and shallow.
Her smiles are forced, her emotions never reach her eyes, and she might as well still be acting for Pirates of the Caribbean. Her performance was very hard to watch, and – part the writer’s fault, I’m sure – she never allows Anna’s dilemma to smoothly come full circle. As a result, I struggled to feel sorry for the character, and Anna’s emotional journey – as well as her external one concerning her society life – was never strong enough or powerful enough to deliver depth and evoke sympathy.
Overall, the film was visually stunning, but it lacks heart and substance to carry the enormous weight of Tolstoy’s profound story.

I give it: 1 and a half flowers!


  1. Oh no! It sucks that you didn't enjoy the film :( It's been a few years since I watched it but I remember enjoying the film quite a bit and it's what prompted me to read the book. Otherwise I would've never had the motivation to tackle the ~900 page monstrosity! How do you feel about other film adaptations of classics? I haven't read that many classics or watched adaptations and I'm hoping to read/watch a more diverse collection of books/movies.

    1. Ah I know! It was visually gorgeous, but the rest was weak :(
      Haha that's true! I actually do want to read the book now, as well!
      I like classic remakes :) Mostly Austen, but I also loved the 1998 adaption of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. That was so tragic and so beautifully done.
      I hope you get to watch and read more classics! I love them :)


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