Tuesday, August 7, 2012

For Love of a Russian Beauty

I have a confession. (I feel like I've been making a lot of confessions lately- perhaps I should do a weekly one. Confession Tuesday anyone?)

Confession: I LOVE scandal. It's almost pathetic, really. For instance, every time we stand in line at the grocery store, it takes immense self-control not to skim the headlines of all the tabloids they've got lined up right there. (Of course, I would never be caught dead actually reading one of said tabloids, but I still pretend to look uninterested while skimming the headlines listlessly.)

It is one of those things about the world that I find both sickening and fascinating. I hate that I like it, but I suppose everyone just wants to hear a good story. I, for one, am no exception; I love stories! Even stupid little tabloid tidbits.

However, last semester, I delved into arguably one of the best scandals in the literature world: Anna Karenina. by Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

It's kind of a funny story how I came to read this particular work. It all began with a comment one of the Amigos said of Tolstoy's War and Peace, " Tolstoy is impossible to finish!" eager to prove him wrong, I set out to do the impossible. But Anna Karenina proved to be much more interesting than War and Peace.

Set in Russia during the 1870's, the story follows a dual love story: the affair between Anna and the handsome Count Vronsky and the budding romance between Kitty and Levin. Many characters rich in depth permeate the plot and their relationships to one another are complex. (For example, Kitty initially turned down Levin's proposal because she was counting on a proposal from Vronsky.) the story is full of wonder and complexity as well as misery and tragedy. It is a beautiful story, only slightly shorter than WAR AND PEACE and I finished it in two months.

That being said, I found out the movie is coming out this fall!!! There have already been a few adaptations; the last one filmed in 1997. The coming Autumn's adaptation will be starring Keira Knightly, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson.

I've known this for quite some time now, before I even finished the book in April. I went through an obsessive phase, looking up tons of information about previous remakes and the new one (for which there is precious little information). The obsession waned until yesterday, when I found out THEY RELEASED THE TRAILER!!!!!!!

I cannot contain my excitement. I've probably watched the two minute, thirty-one second clip about a dozen times. It looks so good! I believe a second obsessive phase has begun; I just can't get it out of my head. From the trailer, Anna (Knightly) and her husband Karenin (Law) appear well-cast, but I am uncertain about Vronsky. I pictured Vronsky to be quite a bit...handsomer than the boyish appearance of the actor. I think it's the highlights. They make him look so rash and, dare I say, trashy. Which he is, in essence. But he seemed much more compelling in the book.

Any sex that occurred in the book was at most implied. (Anna steals away to see Vronsky in the night, next scene Anna is pregnant. And I think that's it.) however, this being the modern era and the fact that this is all about an affair, I predict that the movie will not be as subtle about explicit scenes. It's even hinted at midway through the trailer. Unfortunately, I will probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD to watch it so I can fast forward through the awkward parts. Bummer, since I was so looking forward to it!

In the meantime, I will be looking up every scrap of information I can find on the internet and probably watch the older adaptations which are far less likely to include explicit content. Perhaps I can convince my mother to let me go, since I am of age, but I will probably go alone if I do, unless she wants to come. Disappointment but nonetheless debilitating to my latest and greatest obsession with Miss Anna.

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