Anna Karenina review- Part 3

I’m on the home straight with Anna Karenina, who is bizarrely still alive. Lëvin, who was also sure he was going to die, as he was done with life, is also still very much alive. It’s not that I wish these people dead, but it’s like when someone the designated driver backs out at the last minute, or when people who make big noises about lactose and gluten intolerances ask for a slice of your pizza, one can’t help but judge them as flaky.

Nikolia, Lëvin’s destitute, TB-riddled brother did actually die, in a hotel rented for the purpose. This made me think about living in a time when good hospital beds were hard to come by, and what the modern day equivalent would be if that were the case now, and how it would make Travelodges an even sharper brush with the harsh side of the human experience.

Anna is travelling about Europe with Vronsky and the baby daughter she knows doesn’t love as much as her son, whom she has to sneak into the house at dawn to see (should have thought about that before, missy. If you’d have kept your hand on your ha’penny, none of this would have happened.)

Lëvin finally got over himself, and him and Kitty got married, and are now being the world’s most annoying couple, with constant jealousies and upsets over nothing that suggest marrying when still besotted is a bad idea, and it’s best to wait until a few doors have been slammed and all the Hollywood shine has evaporated before walking down the aisle. Otherwise, disappointment is a certainty. Lëvin is turning selfishness into an art form, after having first thought all the wedding arrangements were silly, as all he wanted was to be married so why all the traditions and fuss, and is now thinking the same way about hiring midwives. It’s not that he is mean with money, but as he doesn’t see the importance of medical staff when peasants pop about babies in bushes lickity-split, and he doesn’t see why anyone else shouldn’t manage the same. The majority of women who have delivered humans will testify there aint nothing lickity-split about it.

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Attention – This is not a an accurate childbirth metaphor.

 

And finally, when the recent ‘War and Peace’ adaptation was on the telly, people everywhere (well, people on Twitter) were moaning about how English it was. Well, half these people in this are speaking French half the time, and Dolly, Lëvin’s and Anna’s sister- in-law likes to have English nannies and herself speaks English to her children, so if you want posh people speaking Russian, Tolstoy’s Russia would not have been the place to go.

I have never seen this film adaptation, I imagine Anna older than Keira Knightley, but I like the idea of Jude Law as Karenin, and Matthew Macfadyen  as Oblonsky, and Alicia Vikander and Domhall Gleeson as Kitty and Lëvin sounds promising. But really, it would have to be about 20 hours long to cover everything.

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