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Victor/Vronsky

Though I can't really discuss the film because of the studio embargo imposed until the release date, November 16, I thought I'd share this observation about director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." The film has confused some because of its structure, a kind of play within the film with stage sets, musical numbers, and other artifices. I was prepared for that, but then something else odd bothered me more, something no one else that I know of has commented on yet.

Throughout the movie I was plagued with the suspicion that I had seen one of the characters before: Count Vronsky, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the seducer of Keira Knightley's fallen woman of the title.

 

Then it hit me.

It was Gene Wilder as Victor Frankenstein in Mel Brooks's "Young Frankenstein" (1974).

I can only assume that Wright and Stoppard had some sly reason for doing this. Are they saying that their movie does to Tolstoy what Brooks did to Mary Shelley, except without the laughs? Or that Anna Karenina is like a 19th century Russian version of Frau Blucher? Or that [Spoiler!] Anna stepping in front of a train

is the grim equivalent of Victor and his Monster's rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz?"

 

 I should stop there because I have probably already said too much and will be paid a visit by the studio embargo police.

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