Movie Review: Anna Karenina
6.10: Anna Karenina-na-na-not
Director Jon Wright’s choice of Keira Knightly playing the role of Anna Karenina was as good move however the pair’s lack of strength in relaying emotion to the audience hurt the story.
Anna Karenina is a drama film, set in the 19th century, with a run time of 129 minutes, as stated on the International Movie Database (IMDB). Rated R, though not really needed when compared to today’s PG-13 movies, the story is about a married woman (Knightly) who has an affair with a man named Vronsky. All is well until Anna becomes mentally ill as the criticism of society impends on her.
Wright and Knightly have worked together in the past, creating pieces of art like Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. Knightly has strength when it comes to making historic films however, even with a strong supporting cast, her role as Anna was only so-so. Not only did she fail to connect with Anna’s character, who pretty much goes crazy, Knightly’s “splay” of emotional turmoil failed to sway the audience.
An ironic part is the train. In “Anna Karenina” the novel by Leo Tolstoy, Anna murmurs, “it is a bad omen” when she first meets Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) by the train. However, the way that scene is acted out in the movie is debatable.
It wasn’t that bad, but because that scene of the train is a turning point that foreshadows the future, Wright definitely lost points as director. The train is reoccurring throughout the film, but that first scene was not rightfully executed.
Johnson, who played Vronsky, Anna’s lover, was not the right person for the job. Either that, or the director did not do a good job directing. Just like Knightly’s inability to connect with Anna, Johnson failed to fill Vronsky’s shoes. In Tolstoy’s novel, Vronsky is portrayed as the standard masochist, a leader worthy image, however in the film Vronsky is like a lost boy who can’t seem to come out of his mother’s shadow.
Jude Law, playing Anna’s husband Karenin, did an excellent job. His role as an honorable figure who fulfilled his duties yet lacked in emotion was portrayed almost perfectly.
The winter illusion was a good twist to the plot, the cold air was somewhat filled with emotion and it went really well with the story. The theatre setting was also a plus.
However, even beyond the struggles of the actors, was the execution of the scenes. At many points during the movie, there as a “rushed-through” feeling as certain scenes were done too fast while other scenes lagged.
Overall, IMDB rates the movie 6.7 out of 10, which about fits. It is a good storyline and the audience is able to get the gist of it, but not enough to where a person would walk out of the theater saying, “that was a good movie.”