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“Anna Karenina,” a novel by Leo Tolstoy, is now adapted into a visually stunning movie, directed by Joe Wright [Atonement, Pride and Prejudice]. When I went to see the movie with my mother, we both did not know what to expect. Neither one of us had read the novel, nor did we know anything about the film. But after half an hour we were hooked into the storyline.
The story is about Anna Karenina [Keira Knightly] living in 1874, imperial Russia. Married to St, Petersburg official Alexis [Jude Law], Anna is called to her sisters, Dolly [Kelly McDonald] who has caught her husband having an affair. Anna is called to act like a marriage councillor, but what she doesn’t expect is to find is a lover of her own. Anna is thrown into a seductive and passionate affair with Vronsky [Aaron Johnson]. Soon Anna’s world is turned upside down when the people around her, including her husband, suspect the scandalous affair.
What Joe Wright does with the few opening scenes is strange but enjoyable. He throws you into the film, making no stops to explain anything but only expecting you to sit back and take everything in. It is hard to grasp at the start, trying to figure out who is who and what part do they play within the story, but after the first half hour, the rest of the movie becomes an easy ride.
The whole movie is visually spectacular. What was one of the most stunning scenes for me in the whole movie is when Anna and Vronsky have their dance together at the grand ball. The way the actors move across the stage is like they are gliding on thin air. It is truly beautiful the way they move, and you can see the chemistry that the actors bring to their characters. Wright captures the desire and love that is between Anna and Vronsky in that one scene alone. It’s certainly worth watching for this one scene.
Personally, I felt the movie lacked towards the end. The movie starts off with a high at the start, throwing the audience into this new world without stopping for any questions, then I felt it very much calmed down towards the end – which is where some viewers may lose interest.
So if you enjoyed Joe Wright‘s other work such as Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, then Anna Karenina is one you definitely must see. Overall, it is a beautifully stunning film with perfect acting from all the cast.