well that was a disappointment

I wrote on here a while ago (here and here) about reading Anna Karenina and how I was so so excited for the most recent film adaptation.  Well last night, I finally watched it and I have to say I really didn’t like it.  Visually it was very interesting and beautiful but that was about the only positive thing I can say.  I didn’t care for the casting (and on a related note why is everyone in Imperial Russia speaking with British accents?), the script fell flat, and overall I found it to be much too lighthearted and simple to even come close to Tolstoy’s novel.

I went into this with a very open mind.  Film adaptations of books are always a tricky business, and for something as epic as Anna Karenina, I realize it would be very difficult to capture the full text.  However, very early on into the film I thought that it was almost too focused on style and not enough on substance.  The deep and complex relationships that the characters have with each other, which for me was the best part of the novel, seemed to be barely touched on, especially in the love triangle of Anna, her husband, and her lover.  Not to mention the almost complete absence of the intricacies of Levin and Kitty’s relationship which were beautifully told in the novel.  It all seemed sort of shallow and silly, like the carnival version of the book.  About halfway through I seriously considered turning off the movie, as I knew it would most likely not get any better, but decided to stick out.  Unfortunately I was right and ended up yawning my way to the end.

Perhaps if I had not read (and loved) the book I would have enjoyed this film, but for me it ran like a goofy version of the Cliff Notes and at times reminded me a little too much of Baz Luhrman’s style of film, which I have a fairly hard tolerating.  At least we were spared any singing…

The Postliminary-

Speaking of Baz Luhrman…The Great Gatsby is coming out in 2013 and I am very torn about seeing this movie.  I love the novel and besides Romeo & Juliet have not liked any of the director’s films so I wonder if I am better off keeping the two separate.  What do you think?  Are you looking forward to The Great Gatsby?  I will be honest, I think it looks kind of terrible…


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