“Inventing Anna” gives a new look at high society

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Akshitha Venkataraman, Managing Editor

Premiering on Feb. 11, “Inventing Anna” has amassed a vast audience and topped the Netflix charts for a domestic record-breaking 179 million hours. 

“Inventing Anna” is based on the true story of Anna Sorokin, who conned the New York City high society into thousands of dollars of debt and loans. Sorokin was eventually convicted and served two years of jail time after being found guilty. 

The show itself follows the journalist Vivian Kent, loosely based on Jessica Pressler, who first published the investigative piece on Anna Sorokin for the New York Times. Throughout the show, Vivian’s investigative journalism serves as the driving force behind the audience’s point of view of Anna’s various exploits among the New York elite. 

Although the show emphasizes both the journalist’s point of view and the different complexities of investigative journalism, there are inconsistencies and turbulent writing that plague the ability of the audience to follow the narratives with clarity while still preserving a meaningful portrayal of the Sorokin case. 

The main flaw with the show is the lack of elaboration and depth given to the psyche of Anna Sorokin’s character. Her motivations and ambitions are largely unexplored and the show often revolved around Vivian rather than Sorokin herself. The surface-level motivations of the main cast and the inability to portray adequate development of characters and their backstories reflect bad lighting on the show as drama for drama’s sake, rather than an intriguing story about the nature of class and wealth in New York’s upper society members. The show has great potential in creating meaningful commentary on the different players involved in the Sorokin case and turned it into a rather lackluster drama.

The clashes between the points of view of different characters further alleviate the convoluted and muddy perspectives and commentary of Anna Delveys actions and often waters down her actions to the point that meaningful analysis is virtually irrelevant.

The expectations for the show as commentary on classism and sexism in elite societies fall flat due to the poor portrayal of character motivations as well. Anna Sorokin is consistently hinted at being somewhat of a misunderstood genius, but the evidence of this is largely nonexistent due to the one-dimensional nature of Anna’s character. While the acting for the show was fairly engaging, Anna was always portrayed as a character with ulterior intentions and motives, while still never saying anything of particular importance that would suggest a misunderstood capability to take advantage of the rich as a means to secure profit for herself as an ordinary citizen.

Ultimately, “Inventing Anna” is great if seen through a perspective of a largely mundane drama, but falls entirely flat when it comes to the premise of building up the characters as complex and intriguing players in a scam that impacted some of the largest institutions in New york.