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
- 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.