Reviewed by: Caro Ness

As much as Anna Karenina, Sergei Soloviev’s labour of love - which screened alongside this film at the London Russian Film Festival - appealed to me, this grated and jarred. This may be a sequel to the much-lauded ASSA but I simply cannot see it achieving the same cult status. If you haven’t seen ASSA, which ended with Drubcich being jailed for the murder of her lover, this film will be meaningless and confusing.

In this film, Drubich is resurrected when film director, Sergei Makovetski, plucks her from obscurity in prison and turns her into a star as Anna Karenina. However, the daughter of the man she murdered has vowed to sabotage the picture by arranging the “second death” of Anna Karenina.

The film opens with Victor Troy singing ‘We Wait For Change’ which opened the originl ASSA. This film is packed with musical interludes, such as punk rocker Sergei Shnurov, classical violinist Yuri Bashmet and Anna Solovieva (Soloviev and Drubich’s daughter), who all have a turn in the spotlight. But it is the sepia shots featuring Ekaterina Volkova that represent the most striking use of staging.

I am afraid I got fed up with the constant switching from one scene or character to the next and the need to constantly pause the screening DVD and rewind because I felt I might have missed something. I’m afraid my conclusion is that the only thing I missed is how this film ever raised enough money to see the light of day. As good as Anna Karenina was, this film is a woeful piece of self-indulgence. I feel sad that the same director could produce both.

Reviewed on: 08 Nov 2009
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Alika languishes in jail. Yet hope may be in sight for her, as a well-known director is touring Russian prisons, hoping to find the perfect woman to play the lead role in a new version of Anna Karenina.
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Director: Sergei Soloviev

Writer: Sergei Soloviev

Starring: Tatiana Drubich, Yuri Bashmet, Sergei Shnurov, Anna Solovieva

Year: 2009

Runtime: 120 minutes

Country: Russia


Russian 2009

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