Friday, January 13, 2006

Pride and Prejudice: Victorian Romance back o the screen

The most famous novel of Jane Austin has found itself on the screen again. BBC’s six hour long version is probably the best adaptation. It had the great advantage of being long enough to be faithful to the book and to include all the details that elevate Jane Austin’s work to a masterpiece. Therefore the new Pride and Prejudice version of Joe Wright is hard to stand up to this comparison.
The main flaw of the film is that it is too short and the script isn’t coherent enough. Everything moves too fast and spectators who haven’t read the book will have difficulty in understanding what is going on. The ones that are funs of the book, however, will have the feeling that they are scanning rapidly through the pages of the book reading only their favorite parts. In the end they are left with a feeling of discontent. On the other hand the film has enough good points. Firstly the casting is excellent. Both Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy look as they are described in the book. Jane Austin’s great plus was her ability to create vivid characters that one could easily fathom through their actions and most importantly through their words. These characters emerge well enough in the film with all their humor, charms and vices. Moreover, the atmosphere of the book is also well conveyed to the film. An era where women were socially destined to marry with all its positives and minus is well presented. The beautiful English landscape has given the opportunity for great photography.
On the whole the film remains mediocre, made in order to satisfy our need for romance which awakes form time to time. My opinion though is that if you have an urge for a Victorian story you should rent the BBC version and watch it by the fireplace. Winter landscape is perfect for this kind of escape.

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