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A pointless retelling: Review of Anna Karenina by Rashid Irani

Tolstoy’s timeless tragedy gets a Russian makeover that is visually sumptuous but dramatically inert.

movie reviews Updated: Dec 07, 2017 16:49 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Anna,Karenina,Leo Tolstoy
There’s no on-screen chemistry, even between lovers Karenina and Vronsky, played by Elizaveta Boyarskaya and Max Matveev.
ANNA KARENINA: VRONSKY’S STORY
  • Direction: Karen Shakhnazarov
  • Actors: Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Max Matveev
  • Rating: 1 / 5

Leo Tolstoy’s literary classic has been adapted for the screen countless times, most notably in 1935, starring Greta Garbo.

This time around, the romantic tragedy gets a Russian makeover that is visually sumptuous but dramatically inert.

Veteran Soviet director Karen Shakhnazarov (The Rider Named Death) retells the story from the vantage point of the turn-of-the-20th-century Russo-Japanese war.

It’s not clear why anyone would want to view a classic through the lens of a conflict no one’s heard of.

After a chance encounter between Anna’s now-grown-up son (Krill Grebenshchikov) and her former lover (Max Matveev), the latter reminisces about the doomed affair with barely a flicker of emotion.

The trick serves no purpose except to stretch the film’s runtime beyond two hours.

None of the characters makes an impression; there’s no on-screen chemistry even between the lovers.

You can safely give this one a miss.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 16:47 IST