Anna Karenina (2012)
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Joe Wright|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a novel which has been adapted for the big screen and the small screen many times. IMDB lists numerous films and television series based on this classic novel. The latest big screen adaptation is this one based on a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and directed by Joe Wright. Wright first came to my notice as the director of an excellent mini-series on Charles II and was later responsible for films like Price & Prejudice, Hanna and the marvellous Atonement. He makes wonderful and interesting films and this one is certainly no exception.
The story is set in 1874 Russia, St Petersburg (the seat of government) & Moscow (the centre of high society). The titular character, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is married to the upright but slightly boring beaurocrat, Count Karenin (Jude Law) and they live in St Petersburg with their young son. Karenin is very busy with the government of the country and has little time to spend with his wife and son, despite obviously loving them. When her brother, Stiva (Matthew MacFadyen) gets himself into trouble by having an affair, she heads to Moscow to try to convince his wife Princess Dolly (Kelly MacDonald) to stay with him. Meanwhile, Dolly's sister, Princess Kitty (Alicia Vikander) is smitten with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) despite being pursued by solid country landowner, Levin (Domhnall Gleeson). The arrival of the beautiful Anna in Moscow, however, turns Vronsky's head and he falls in love with her, despite her being a married woman. She initially resists his advances but an illicit affair begins, which eventually comes to the notice of Karenin.
If you thought that it was not possible to make something different and interesting out of a period drama like Anna Karenina you are very wrong and Wright has crafted something here which takes this classic story to a completely different place certainly in terms of production design, music, costumes and style. This film plays out like a choreographed dance sequence in many ways with movement seeming to be planned but never out of place. The way that scenes transition is marvellous and adds significantly to the overall feel and style of this film. There is a repeated use of a stage upon which some of the scenes play out which I must say I didn't quite get but this is a minor complaint. The beauty of this film is marvellous with sweeping movement, marvellous set pieces, wonderful costumes, a beautiful score by Dario Marianelli and beautiful sets and locations. This is all backed up by wonderful acting especially from Knightley and Law. The young actor playing Vronsky is perhaps a little too young or maybe just a little too foppish to be totally believable. This film is ravishing and sweeps you up on the journey of the story. It is engrossing, perplexing and intriguing, keeping you thinking about the various motifs being used and the rapid changes of scenes with intricate transitions. My only warning would be that if you want a straight rendering of the novel or a stuffy period drama look elsewhere. This is different, challenging and beautiful rather than 'normal'.
The video quality is excellent for DVD.
The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was excellent.
The colour is also excellent showing off the beautiful colours of this marvellous film.
There are no noticeable artefacts.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read. Other subtitles are available in a number of European languages (see above).
The audio quality is very good.
This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus the same in Russian and Polish along with an Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 track.
Dialogue was not perfect with the rest of the mix overwhelming it at times.
The score is marvellous as I mentioned above and sounds excellent on this transfer for a DVD.
The surround speakers provided good directional effects such as for trains and atmosphere and music throughout.
The subwoofer added bass to the music mostly.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes music but no text which I find annoying. The film also auto starts if you leave it unattended.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The various Blu-ray releases include some extras but the DVD versions seem to be bare bones as far as I can tell. Draw.
The video quality is excellent for DVD.
The audio quality is very good.The extras fell under a train.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|