Published in 1878, Anna Karenina is one of the well-known characters of the legendary Leo Tolstoy; Wikipedia, says it to be the greatest work of literature ever! The novel has seen numerous translations, retelling, and movies. Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s Story (2017) is the latest version, a Russian adaptation of the same by Director Karen Shakhnazarov. I liked it. The film is made available for free by the Russian Centre of Science & Culture, New Delhi on YouTube.
The story starts in 1904, in China’s Manchuria region, where the Russian Army was being chased by the Imperial Japanese Army. The Russian Red Cross team takes shelter and recoup their health, one amongst the hurt was Count Alexei Vronsky and treating him was Sergei Karenin. Sergei asks the Count to narrate the story of how he met his mother (Anna Karenina) and they fell in love. The count starts narrating by staying “People remember what suits them and in love, there is no one truth“, from the first time in 1872 he meets Anna at the train station and instantly falls in love with her, even though she was already married to Sergei’s father Alexei Karenin at the time. What happens next are how Anna and the Count fall madly in love with each other, and, how did it all end?.
Elizaveta Boyarskaya as Anna Karenina, Maksim Matveyev as Vronsky and Vitaly Kishchenko as Karenin were perfect for the roles they played. Though the story is about the strong Anna, it dwells into the feelings of both the Count and Anna’s husband Karenin. Though he was the not lovable character in the story, you can’t label him as the bad guy – he genuinely loves Anna and even forgives her on her deathbed.
It was fascinating to watch the ladies on the dance floor, holding an end of the skirt bottom with their left-hand finger all the time, it should’ve been uncomfortable. Not only that, but the layers of inners, corsets with all the tight laces they had to wear would’ve been painful too.
It seems the original novel of Anna Karenina was in eight parts and over eight hundred pages, so any two-hour film can only take a slice of it, which this one has done an excellent job.