Book vs. Movie: Anna Karenina

CLAIRE OLIVER
The book Anna Karenina is a celebrated Russian novel written by Leo Tolstoy. The book mainly highlights two love stories. The first is of Anna Karenina, a married woman, and Alexei Vronsky, a young military officer. Their love is filled with passion and desire. Anna’s life is turned completely upside down when she becomes pregnant with Vronsky’s baby and her husband tries to hush up the affair to save his reputation and his wife’s. The second love story is more pure and full of love. When Konstantin Levin falls for young Kitty Scherbatsky he asks for her hand, but she refuses him because of her fascination with none other than Vronsky. The book is good. I liked the beginning and the end, the middle was boring and stale so it took me awhile to get through.
Recently Focus Features released their rendition of Anna Karenina. Keria Knightley played a wonderful Anna. She really got into the character. The way Knightley played Anna was the way I personally say Anna act in the book. The cinematography was great. I liked the way the director set up the scene, as if the actors were actually on a stage. The use of the “stage” idea helped me to get into the story. I also enjoyed Anna’s brother Oblonsky character in the film.

Matthew Macfadyen made the character funny and full of life which is the way Oblonsky acts in the book. They did cut out a lot of the political talk that is a major part in the book; they also made the book more modern so that the film can appeal to a bigger audience. I really enjoyed the film, unfortunately it is rated R, so I couldn’t see it in theaters.
The movie, to me, had more excitement than the book. I am usually all for “the book is better than the movie” but the movie captivated my attention and my head spin at the end. I really like how the dialogue and characters matched that of the book. The book was excellent, don’t get me wrong, but some parts of it were difficult to get through, and it took a long time to read, which is expected of an 800 page book. Overall the movie beats out the book on drama, but the book beats out the movie on the more intimate scenes. I don’t think one is really better than the other. I have to give props to the book though, for creating the twisted and tragic tale of a dangerous love affair.

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