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.