My personal meditations/reflections on films and occasional art exhibitions.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
ANNA KARENINA 11/24/12
I really disliked the movie Anna Karenina. Now I know why the Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 53%. It is a self-conscious, schizophrenic film that wants to be many things - true to the book, but also a stylized CONTEMPORARY work of "art" which cannot make up its mind.
Artifice, parody and Tolstoy do not work for me. The great romance between Anna Karenina and Vronsky is reduced to some "hot" clutching and lingering glances between a hungry yet anorexic looking Anna (Keira Knightly) and her puerile Shirley Temple curly-haired lover Vronsky.
The theatricality of the film was literally constructed through stage sets. Except for the naturalism of the outdoor landscapes in the sub-plot scenes dealing with the idealistic love affair between Levin (Tolstoy's alter ego) and his future wife Kitty, the rest of this movie had ladders and stage hands distracting us at critical moments moving throughout the set. I know a point is being made but I found it to be perplexing and disconcerting or just too obvious: "all the world's a stage...."
The movie does attempt to show the inequalities in the way women are treated, as opposed to men when they commit infidelity or break "God's law of marriage" - eventual banishment and social ostracism. Without a man's protection, they are helpless. Actually not so different from the way women are treated today in many cultures.