Anna Karenina -
This dramatisation of one of the most famous novels of world literature, ambitiously directed by Roman Polák, became the event of the season in Slovakia, gaining five nominations for Dosky Awards, and winning the award for best direction and costumes. The director places the characters of this great love story in a symbolic ice rink, where they raise their hats, fall down, get up again and take part in the dizzily fast movement in which their world turns. The expressive set design, dynamic spatial metamorphoses, elegant costumes and excellent performances by actors from the Slovak National Theatre make for an unusually impressive production.
Anna Karenina – Tolstoy's famous novel deals with the force of a passion that is so great it is capable of bringing down the boundaries of social convention, but then suddenly wilts and the former passion becomes suffering. The dramatisation emphasises the central love story and the description of the fate of a family, complemented by a mosaic of traditional and less traditional marital relationships and affairs, which develop against the background of unusual social and political events. Questions of guilt, morality and sin are complemented by a desperate attempt at forgiveness and purification.
These stories of families, couples and meditations on faith in God are presented by the director in twenty-five scenes, which create a compact whole. Through them the characters and their relationships unwind and develop, without false notes or stylisation.
The audience perceives with fundamental clarity the surviving and fading love of Anna Karenina, played by Zuzana Fialová and Slávka Halčáková, and the internally-rich Karenin of Martin Huba, in whom the certainty of a relationship changes into doubt. There is a metaphorically-significant scene in which Lydia Ivanovna, played by Soňa Valentová, is washing Karenin's feet. She cleanses him of imaginary dirt, appropriating him for her goals. There is no faulting in Huba's subtle gestures, expressions, and uncertainty in the new situation.
Dagmar Podmaková, Pravda