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In 1874, in the Imperial Russia, the aristocratic Anna Karenina travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow to save the marriage of her brother Prince Oblonsky, who had had a love affair with his housemaid. Anna Karenina has a cold marriage with her husband, Count Alexei Karenin, and they have a son. Anna meets the cavalry officer Count Vronsky at the train station and they feel attracted by each other. Soon she learns that Vronsky will propose to Kitty, who is the younger sister of her sister-in-law Dolly. Anna satisfactorily resolves the infidelity case of her brother and Kitty invites her to stay for the ball. However, Anna Karenina and Vronsky dance in the ball, calling the attention of the conservative society. Soon they have a love affair that will lead Anna Karenina to a tragic fate.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The movie opens in "1875 Imperial Russia". A few minutes later, a self-propelled model train is seen in action. Clockwork model trains were first introduced by the pioneering German toy company Marklin in 1891. See more »
Closed in and Claustrophobic: I felt I could breathe only when the scenes escaped outside of the theater stage and onto the snow covered train depot or the green fields where Levin was sowing grass, or where love was a lazy-day picnic on the greenest of grasses, but only briefly and only disappointingly, after again finding myself cramped and stifled in a hot sweltering and old 19th century theater.
The ball room scene was excruciating. The dances and dancers themselves reminded me of a mix of street dance, country and western, and some invented Tim Burtonesque "Danse Macabre" for the purposes of being unique, strange, and possibly "histrionic". The moves were stiff and unflattering and I was embarrassed to watch Anna and Vronsky clumsily make there way through the physical distortions that made their clothes appear ill-fitting and as though they both had two left feet.
I could not feel the same passionate love between Anna and Vronsky in this movie adaptation as I'd previously felt in reading the novel. The emphasis on cinematic style and surrealism kept interrupting my wish to re-live and enjoy the story. Further, contradictory to the memories of my mind's eye of the handsome and manly Vronsky in the novel, I came to see him in the movie as bit effeminate-looking, weak, and depicted as a vulnerable little mommy's boy.
I paid my ticket expectant and hopeful but at the end and as I exited the theater I found myself confused, disappointed, and ripped-off.
Anna Karenina will always be one of the greatest experiences in literature I've had the pleasure of. But next time, as surely there will be yet a "next time", I'll simply pass on the movie.
I simply cannot bear the risk of seeing Vronsky look like that again.
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