Monday, November 7, 2011

To The Movies: Pride and Prejudice

When a storyline from a book is turned into a movie, the movie becomes its own text. The basic storyline may be the same, but when changes are made in order to fit the movie within a time limit or to highlight an element or theme that the people involved in the movie feels is important—they make the story their own. I will focus these features on movies made based on books I have read—I want to look beyond whether I think the movie is better or worse than the book. I want to appreciate and review the movie as a companion to the book

Genre: Romance
Actors: Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, David Bamber, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Anna Chancellor
Date DVD Released: September 25, 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated (made for TV)
Movie Info: IMBD
Order Online:
Rating: 4 Stars
DVD purchased.

In A Nutshell:
This is my favorite book-turned-into-a-movie.  I do not proclaim this favorite status lightly.  I have a collection of memorabilia for another movie, but as I decided to resurrect my "To The Movies" posts this movie was all I could think about.  When I read this book (which I re-read at least once a year because I love it), Colin Firth is the Darcy I see in my head, Jennifer Ehle is the Elizabeth I see in my head.  

I still remember the first time I read this book--it was the summer before my senior year of high school.  I had already shown a love of classic British literature--I had fallen in love with Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, so my aunt recommended this book to me.  And I loved it!  Not long after that, I found out that A&E had done a mini-series for this book.

I loved that the screenwriter stayed true to Jane Austen's story and the language she used in the book.  I could literally see the scenes that had taken my breath away in the book.  I have seen the proposal scene so many times--and each time my heart breaks for Darcy but I rally for Elizabeth.  She did not do what was expected of her.  She stood up for herself, her family, and her feelings--and I love that about her.

There were some scenes and characters that took my breath away as I cringed, and on the television screen I literally wanted to turn away--turn away or give way to a fit of giggles.  Mr. Collins talking about the chimney piece at Rosings or Lady Catherine's reaction to the rumor of Elizabeth and Darcy's engagement.  Even as I type this--I remember these scenes and the emotions I felt as I watched them come to mind.

This movie sticks with me.  I can recall so much of it in my mind as I write this review or as I re-read the book.  This movie enhances my experience with the text and that is why I love it.

I love this version of Pride and Prejudice, but I am open to watching other versions:

But as I was doing the links for this posts, I realized that two of the stars are in another movie together...and I have to watch it now!!

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