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The Cranes are Flying

May 17th, 2011 by Charlotte · No Comments · Uncategorized

The Cranes are Flying was another movie that I genuinely liked, but only after it had sunk in. The first time I watched it, it was not clear to me that Veronika had been raped; I thought she was just afraid to die, so she decided to go ahead and get married. I thought perhaps she had been raped, but I wasn’t 100% sure, so I couldn’t really label her husband as some kind of villain.

I thought that the movie was aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps my favorite part of the film was the train scene, in which she becomes dizzy or such. I thought that the camera work was very interesting, and I definitely recognized the Anna Karenina moment. In fact, I think that the reason I liked this film was because of its relation to Anna Karenina. It was a love story in which two men and one woman were involved, and the woman nearly killed herself. She had to go through humiliation and outcast status, but she still had a large enough heart to care for the people around her; like Anna, she believed in love until the end. Perhaps this could be read as a reversal of Anna Karenina, that instead of falling in love with a man once she is married to a man she does not love, then proceeding to follow Karenin around, eventually killing herself, this story pushes the protagonist from a man she does love into the arms of a man she does not love, forcing her to marry him while she continues to search for the man she really does love. The shame that Anna felt in the novel at her rejection from society also comes in in this film, but instead of being shamed by her friends, it is the family that shames her. Russia, in the end of the film, is her solace, and the Russian people are who she ends up adoring.

The end was completely unsatisfying. So Veronica decides that the death of the man she loved was okay because she still had Russia? Because she could still love Russia? No one does that. The speech was also a terrible way to end the film. We’ve just seen this very personal story that follows a young woman through the toughest time in her life, and it ends with propaganda? She gives away the flowers she meant for her dead boyfriend to the people of Russia? I think that the ending puts shame to the ties to Anna Karenina that the film has. While this Anna does not die in the end of the film, she may as well, since she decides that it’s okay that her love died because she has enough love for all of Russia. I thought that the ending was terrible, and I never want to see it again, regardless of how much I enjoyed the rest of the film.

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