Anna Karenina

Review: Anna Karenina

31 Jan 13

Tolstoy as a Victorian Melodrama

Where do I begin? How do you condense a major Russian novel into a 2 hour movie? The short answer is, you don't. The beauty of Tolstoy is in the way he plumbs the depths of the human condition and even the great Tom Stoppards skills as a playwright were not equal to this task.Stoppards solution was to throw the story into a medium he is most comfortable with, the stage.
The result is a confection of beautiful sets and costuming without any real emotion.
Kiera Knightley looks gorgeous but her lover Count Vronsky, the worldly, womanising man's man, is played by Aaron Johnson who appears as a callow youth who must surely buckle under the weight of a sword. All the other characters, who are equally important to this great novel. are barely fleshed out.
To be fair we are presented with a visual feast, so if you love flicking through glossy magazines and feel tired at the thought of wading through a challenging Russian novel this movie may tick all the boxes.