Anna Karenina movie review

Regina Williams Culebro, Staff Writer

Anna Karenina is a 2012 movie directed by Joe Wright and inspired by the classic romance novel published in 1877 by Leon Tolstoy. 

The novel tells the story of Anna, a woman with the “perfect life,” who has a lovely family, a good reputation and status. But in reality, she suffers from an arranged marriage where there is everything but love from her husband, Aleksei. After years of unhappiness, she meets Count Vronsky, a young and handsome soldier, at a train station, falling in love almost immediately. They start a secret relationship together, but that meeting of passion eventually makes her lose everything she has.

Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books and when I found out there was a movie I was looking forward to watching it. I loved how the scenery was set as if it were a play, the clothes were wonderful, and the music fit the story well and helps to set a mood in the scenes. I liked how Keira Knightley (Anna) acted in the farewell scene at the train station, I liked how she could make a simple sentence generate so many emotions; all the other actors were very good, too.

I also liked how similar it was to the book; they only changed a few details like they shortened the end compared to the book but I loved the detail of how the story ended in the same place where it started, the train station.

The story is set at the end of the 19th century in Russia. It was the time when Russian society changed from being a liberal to a modern nation, before that, women did not have as many rights or freedoms as men and the story reflects perfectly the hypocrisy of how society sees and mocks Anna after finding out her relationship. but Vronsky is still treated the same and he can go to parties and go out as he pleases.

I liked the parallel love story between Kitty (sister of Anna’s sister-in-law) and Konstantin, and how their relationship develops along the story and how pure and sincere their love is. I feel that it gives a good contrast and shows how fate was not in Anna’s favor and how the relationship they had was what Anna always dreamed of and could never had.

Overall Anna Karenina is a critique of Russian society at that time, showing how status was significant and how people had to keep their appearance even if that meant living a miserable life, and it makes you think about what is better, passion or reason.

I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars; it’s one of my favorite books so I had big expectations. I think it could have been better but I still enjoyed the movie. I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie.