Posts Tagged ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Recommended: ☆☆☆☆☆

Running time: 127 min, Genre: Period Romance

This is by far the handsomest Pride & Prejudice adaptation! Yes it is definitely not as detailed as the wonderful 1995 mini-series, and strays a bit from the text. But I don’t care, I enjoyed it immensely. The feel of this film is more youthful and less polite than the previous versions. It successfully captures the characters, their transformations, their strengths, their vulnerabilities and their passions. The whole cast is great; Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen are perfect as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. I think Keira sparkles as Elizabeth because her portrayal is young, confident, vocal, playful and vivacious. And I love it when she giggles. She is too stunningly beautiful to be the girl dismissed by Darcy as ‘only tolerable.’ I’m a big fan of Jennifer Ehle’s graceful (ahem…mature) portrayal of Elizabeth in the 1995 version; however, Keira’s portrayal is less polished but equally charming.

I really liked how they introduced Mr. Bingley at the Meryton ball, when Darcy, Bingley and Caroline walk in, everything stops. The music, the dancing, all conversation and the crowd parts to offer them a path as if Mr. Bingley is royalty.

Elizabeth Bennet: “So which of the painted peacocks is our Mr Bingley?”
Charlotte Lucas: He is on the right, and on the left is his sister.
Elizabeth Bennet: “And the person with the quizzical brow?”
Charlotte Lucas: “That is his good friend Mr. Darcy.”
Elizabeth Bennet: “He looks miserabIe, poor soul.”
Charlotte Lucas: “MiserabIe he may be, but poor he most certainly is not.”

First of all, I just want to say that Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy (1995 mini-series) never did stir anything for me. I know Mr. Darcy is proud and snobby, but Colin Firth’s too mean looking, overly disgruntled, and encased rigidly in a shell so impenetrable that even when he’s trying to woe Elizabeth, he lacked emotions! He’s just (sorry), “not handsome enough to tempt me.”  Macfadyen’s Darcy is more accessible; he is proud, standoffish, conflicted, honorable, but also shows vulnerability and almost desperation as his love for her grows. There’s no need for him to speak loudly or rudely (Colin Firth), Macfadyen does it ever so subtly – just a twitch of his lips, a blink of his eyes. I thought his portrayal was very true to the book because it’s his silence and awkwardness what makes him come off as conceited and egotistical. In reality, Darcy is just uncomfortable around new people; he tells Lizzy: “I, do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before.”  

Macfadyen’s voice is way too beautiful, but what give me the goosebumps are his blue eyes. They are incredibly expressive, especially when he steals glances at Elizabeth. Though he doesn’t say much his eyes tell it all! 🙂 The proposal in the rain scene is so gorgeous; it’s the perfect spot for a girl to be proposed to (take notes guys)! Their attraction is undeniable! I wanted them to stop fighting and kiss already!The dancing scene between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy is a personal favorite – the two are so absorbed with each other that rest of the dancing crowd fades out. That kind of “magic” has happened to me (several times with the same guy), my dears! 🙂 Sighhhh…

Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander) and Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) certainly provided much comic relief in this film and both of them are a bit goofy in the book also. Bingley is charmingly nervous, adorably shy and sweet-tempered. I think Jane was perfectly portrayed by Rosamund Pike. She’s beautiful, modest, and sweet. I love how Miss Caroline Bingley (Kelly Reilly) is always in the latest fashion and with perfectly styled hair compared to the rest of the country folks.

I think the film is so superbly filmed it makes other movies pale in comparison. I had such a difficult time selecting clips for this post because I love the entire movie–from the gigantic chandelier, rural English countryside, the grandeur of the estates, to the soft and misty scenery. The cinematography is ridiculously good and the costumes are pretty. 

And just when you think it couldn’t get any better! OH!!! The ending is quite satisfying (I couldn’t breath!!) 🙂 You have to watch it!


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Recommended: ☆☆☆☆☆

 This is where my crush on Jane Austen began. There’s just something in her writing that every time I read it, I want to tucked myself in a blanket with a cup of hot tea and munch on French cookies. It’s a feel good book and when things get stressful, I revert to Jane Austen. I love her distinct writing style, witty dialogue, and articulate language.  The story isn’t all that complex, but the language is architected such that the reader can understand the characters’ emotions. She’s funny too! Her ability particularly in mocking the rituals of manners, politeness, empty admiration, false modesties, and social class of Victorian society is so delightfully amusing. Back in the day, class is everything! A man’s identity is valued by his wealth and women just have to look pretty and trap a wealthy man. Some of the characters are cruel and judgmental towards others but proud of themselves. After reading this book, I feel more observant of others.

It’s not an easy read at first, but once you get use to Austen’s language, her pace of storytelling, and the mindless twaddle along the way, you become immersed in their lifestyle and how Darcy and Lizzy’s characters evolve within the story. Wit against wit, his pride against her prejudice, their slow-burning chemistry each grew into a sizzling point (don’t act like I gave the plot away there; we all know how it ends). I like Lizzy’s spunk- her playfulness, wit, and intelligence made her an interesting character. In a time when money and society were considered more important than love and happiness, she believes that one cannot marry without affection. But she is also a contradiction. While she hates snobbery she exhibits the very same behavior she rejects in others. Eventually Lizzy  learns that she should give people a second chance, that we’re not all as we seem. My favorite character however is Mr. Darcy. At first Mr. Darcy does seem like a snob; he’s very wealthy, quiet, and he does look down on others. His fortune made him bearable by most to talk to, though his pride and seemingly apathetic nature was the disdain of many. But in reality, he is genuine, kind, and compassionate. He later realizes that he shouldn’t be a snob because the girl he really loves, which is Elizabeth, is the girl that’s without fortune or status. He realizes that even people that aren’t in his class status are worth knowing. Elizabeth, being snubbed by Mr. Darcy at the first party, became prejudiced against Mr. Darcy and her prejudice prevented her to try to get to know him. It also was the belief then that society could not tolerate a relationship such as theirs. Austen shows us the courage it takes to stay true to ourselves, how we risk everything and gain everything. Finding true love with whom you least expected is the reason I think their love story is so wonderfully charming. It’s the best fairytale, this filthy rich man falls in love with you and he turns out to be perfect and everything you really wanted. Doesn’t everyone need a Mr. Darcy?

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