Welcome to this week’s Movie Reviews Anna Karenina – I was enchanted and here is why…
- Rated 12A
- English (American)Director: Joe Wright
- Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald,Matthew Macfadyen, Ruth Wilson, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson
Another film I got “dragged” to (seriously, are they not the best? No expectations?).
I briefly read that it was an “old story” from Russia and that was about all I knew.
We sat down. The cinema darkened. The “curtains opened” and the film began. I was enchanted. Right from the word go. Less by the storyline, but by the wonderful idea behind the film design (here is where I wish I knew “technical terms” to bedazzle you with). Basically, the whole fillm is set “on stage” sort. It is as if you are watching a play, but not. You move in and out of scene settings and then find yourself in a “normal film”. A child plays with a train set… we home in and then we see the protagonist (Anna) on her train journey. There is a “theatrical fakeness to the snow”. Some scenes take place behind and below the theatre backdrops, amongst beams and pullies. Other scenes are in green open meadows.
I was enchanted. The same way I would have been enchanted by a magical story in the theatre as a child.
The story itself is actually quite “classical” and the film could have been SO BORING. But because it was filmed so wonderfully and the cast selected so finely, it was a pleasure the watch.
So the story. Anna is on the way to see her brother and sister in law, after her brother’s infidelity was discovered. She has gone to help patch it up between her dear brother and sister in law. Whilst there she meets Prince Charming. And promptly Prince Charming and Anna fall in love. Prince Charming pursues. Anna resists. And resists and resists. In the meantime we learn more of her husband (Jude Law – can you believe it took me a good hour to realise that this was indeed Jude Law!!! What happened to the wonderful cad Talented Mr Ripley?! A testament to Jude Law’s acting for sure). Her husband, is dull, unattractive and oh so correct. A kind man, but just too kind. Too correct. Too pious. Eventually Anna gives in… At first live if fun. Eventually she choose to live for love. But a disgraced woman living in Russia in (ahem) “those times” is not an easy cross to bear.
Will there be a happy ending to this story or not?
Watch the trailer
(PS I like the film better than the trailer!)
So… my overall ratings:
Would my husband like this film? Probably not!
Did the friends that came with me like it? YES YES YES!
Likeability of characters – 7/ 10 (I have to say, I didn’t much like Anna, nor her Prince Charming, but they were compelling and irresistible to look at)
General story line – 8/10 (as mentioned, this film could have been so dull dull dull, but the execution was amazing and I loved it)
The Ending – 9/10 (but how else could it end!)
For me, the beauty of this film was all about the film direction and scene setting. I could have watched this theatrical cinematic display forever (and wouldn’t mind seeing it again!).