Friday, March 22, 2013

Anna Karenina

1935, Greta Garbo, 92m

This excellent trans-creation compresses the sprawling stream of consciousness novel into an intense emotional drama. It is an achievement to preserve so much in the short run time. Greta Garbo is able to capture the poignancy as the world disintegrates around Anna. The concluding scene after the suicide as the train recedes with a melancholy whistle has a tragic grandeur. This is a great piece of black and white cinema. It's like and unlike the original but as true to life, human nature and art.
"Miss Garbo, always superbly the apex of the drama, suggests the inevitability of her doom from the beginning, streaking her first happiness with undertones of anguish, later trying futilely to mend the broken pieces, and at last standing regally alone as she approaches the end."..Andre Sennwald


Anonymous said...

It is a little too short and loses the complexity of the novel in the adaptation process, but it keeps the melodramatic part intact. In addition, it has Greta Garbo.

S. M. Rana said...

Of course. Its merit lies that in 90 odd minutes, it does preserve so much. And it stands as an integrated thing on its own.