What motivated me to go watch the movie Anna Karenine is the fact that Keira Knightley is the principal actress ; I really appreciate the way she plays. The second fact is that Joe Wright is one of my favorite directors. We owe him in particular the adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in 2005.
The plot, based on the novel by Leon Tolstoi, is a little bit complicated because it’s about the destiny of five people, but we will focus on two in particular.
First, there is Stiva Oblonski, Anna’s brother, who cheated on his wife, named Daria, and is asking help from Anna. He wants her to come to Moscow and try to save his marriage. Anna accepts and so travels by train. She meets countess Vronski, and then her son, comng down of the train. Some brief exchanges are enough to awaken in Anna and Vronski a mutual attraction. They meet again and Anna first denies her love for Vronski but finally, she succumbs. Then, she gets pregnant. Feeling guilty of her passion and its consequences, she confesses everything to her husband, Alexei Karenine. They have a son together, called Serge. He is the reason why Anna cannot live truly her happiness with her lover, Vronski. Alexei asks her to stay in a letter because he left on a journey, to only save the appearences and she agrees with his propostion.
Unfortunately, the pregnancy goes badly and Anna nearly dies. She sends a telegram to Alexei in which she implores him to forgive her and to come back. Touched by the remorse of his wife and her imminent death, he grants her his forgiveness.
She first refuses to see Vronski but then accepts and they go on a trip to Italy and France. It is a moment of relief and joy for Anna.
But this story is hopeless because when Anna seems to finally find happiness, she loses it instantly. Her relationship with her lover deteriorates slowly. They live beside the society, thanks to the income of Vronski and create fascination and reprobation around them in the Russian high society. Anna cannot bear to lose her child and feels guilty about leaving her husband. She does not love the girl she had with Vronski. They are both left behind by the society and they cannot stand it. Therefore they drift apart and Anna throws herself under a train.
This story touched me because for once, there is no happily ever after. Anna and Vronski chose love over everything and they pay the price. But they chose what they wanted and they owned up to the consequences, despite of the society’s look. I truly think that it is the definition of pure love : not being scared of your feelings, even if they will create chaos.