Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pride and Prejudice

Today in Sunday School we watched Pride and Prejudice(the short one) as part of our movie worldviews series. As a Jane Austen purist, I feel the need to express my opinion of the Kiera Knightly film and why I personally HATE that last scene. Now, I have a tendancy to get overworked about pointless things, so if you don't want to hear me rant, you should stop reading. Like, Now.

In the Focus Features ever-popular film Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet is shown working directly with pigs and farming and other such lowly jobs. He would not have been able to do this and still be counted among the gentlemen of the town. Hence the first reason that this version of Pride and Prejudice is faulty.
Second, the ball held at Sir William Lucas's in this film is far too large. The town around Loungbourne and the surrounding estates would not have had that many high class families, even if you are including the lower-high class like the Bennets. There simply would not have been that many people!

Skipping ahead a bit...can't complain about Mr. Collins, it would take to long...

The wet scene of Darcy's first proposal. First of all, the lines of what is perhaps the most poignant and important scene in the book are altered. Second, never would Elizabeth have allowed a man that close to her. It simply wasn't done! Also, it takes a skilled writer (like Jane Austen!) to create sexual tension between two people who are across a room, sitting far apart from each other. (Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle persent this wonderfully). It is easy to create tension between two figures who are sopping wet and ready to kiss. It's a modern movie, and I think that scene ruins an excellent piece of writing.

Skipping some more...wouldn't want to bore you...

The final sequence, the oh-so-popular "Mrs. Darcy" scene. Jane Austen would never have written nor approved of that scene. Her novels were always stopped at the wedding of her heroine. Never did she attempt to look beyond the happy bride. The final scene betrays her in that. Also, I feel that it betrays the book Darcy's true character for him to be involved in that sort of playful banter with Elizabeth. It says at the end of the novel that she had to train him to enjoy her light attitude, and that he often misinterpreted her, until they found a happy medium.

My objections are so much more than this. They go on and on and on. That is not to say that the directors did a bad job. On the contrary, they made a facinating film. But the fact that they dared to associate it with Jane Austen is, I think, an awful betrayal of her true style. I feel the same about the Narnia films and C.S. Lewis

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