Link: Anna Karenina
Summary: An insane selfish woman cannot figure out her love life and cries a lot.
Thoughts: The main character, Anna, is no way portrayed to be a character we are meant to empathize with. Throughout the entire movie, her motives are hard to understand; she seems to be ruled by her lustful desires more than anything else, and cries whenever she can’t have exactly what she wants, evoking the sort of empathy one might have for a child who fights with everyone and then cries when no one will play with her. Maybe there was more to the character in Tolstoy’s original story (which I will probably never read), but if so, I didn’t pick up on it here. Anna just seems to be a selfish crybaby. The subplots involving the side characters are far more interesting. In honesty, though, I have yet to be impressed by anything written by Tom Stoppard. His writing itself isn’t so bad, it’s just shallow; either he enjoys being far too blunt, or his subtlety is too subtle to work, so that the overall story feels as empty as this simile. (I’m so meta.)
Filmmaking-wise, the film was very creative. The film is staged as an elaborate play in a theater, so scene transitions sometimes consist of sets forming around characters, and some sets still contain elements of the theater, such as that row of lights along the bottom edge. While it was creative, however, it didn’t really add anything to the story. Perhaps one could argue that the hints that the story is taking place in a theater reminds the audience of the false pretenses or notions or actions of the characters or their situations, a consideration that “we are all just actors in our own plays” or something. If so, it seems more coincidental than anything else; the same could be said of any story presented in such a way. Still, it was fun to watch. The cinematography was also beautiful, every scene like a painting, and the music fit the drama very well. I particularly enjoyed its Tchaikovskian influences. (I’m so cultured.)