Stylish Anna (Intensive) Kare-nina

MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 129 mins
Common Sense Rating: 16+

“Sensual desire indulged for its own sake is the misuse of something sacred.”
– Levin
(Domhnall Gleeson)

When Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) leaves to speak on behalf of her brother’s crime of adultery, she runs into a handsome young soldier named Vronski (Aaron Johnson). The two seem quite smitten with each other and it would end happily ever after… that is if Anna wasn’t already married to Alexi Karenin (Jude Law), who is held in high regard as the town Saint. This begins a secret love affair in the midst of a time when reputation is most important and whether or not they keep it up makes up for most of this movie.

This presentation is a lot different from any other movie that I’ve seen. It seems more like a theater show that transforms as the movie progresses from scene to scene. Seeing the coordination of how the environmental space transforms to coincide the changing of scenery is truly unique to see & deserves to be recognized.

One of Vronsky's costumes worn by Aaron Johnson

One of Vronsky’s costumes worn by Aaron Johnson

In a similar vein, the costumes and the set arrangements were absolutely beautiful. It really captured the looks of the times while adding a sense of whimsy to the movies. Not only was it visually stunning, the design team also did a great job of linking the costumes to the characters mood at the time of the scene.

Unfortunately, the film’s plot and pacing was not enough to satisfy. The movie starts off great but halfway through the movie, the main consequence falls into a slump that it doesn’t seem to get itself out of. The fact that I was more interested in the subplot involving Kitty & Levin in a movie about Anna Karenina raises a red flag.

To make matters worse, there was a loose end that was left unresolved which left me feeling unfulfilled. Granted, the story had a conclusion that I could buy into. However, this hangup left a sour taste in my mouth & ultimately ruined the movie for me.

Anna Karenina Postcards

My love for this movie can only relate to one of these types of love. Can you guess which one?

While there was no nudity in this movie, there were a couple of scenes that can be quite steamy. There is also a few scenes that can be quite graphic.

This iteration of Anna Karenina takes the famed Tolstoy story and creates a visually pleasing film that creates a dreamlike viewing experience. But despite the film’s extravagant style & the best efforts of the actors, this movie fails to sustain a consistent drive that keeps me involved throughout the movie. In an ironic twist for those familiar with the story, I fell out of love with the characters. C

Fade to black…


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