A pointless retelling: Review of Anna Karenina by Rashid Irani
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.