Wednesday, August 26

Pride & Prejudice

Like a somewhat insane person, I’ve been recently obsessing about Pride and Prejudice, prompting me to write a three-part review. It’s one of the classical adaptations whose versions I like to watch and fall in love with Lizzie and Mr. Darcy. I’m still in between reading the book and deciding if I should do a comparative piece between the novel and the adaptations I've seen. For now, I’m going to be writing about the 2005 film adaptation, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

Lizzie Bennett is the second of five siblings, whose mother is eager to get them all married before she and her husband pass away. The story begins when a man purchased the house in Netherfield, with stories about him being quite wealthy, prompting Mrs. Bennett to introduce her daughter to him. That man is Mr. Bingley - he gets enamored with Jane and falls in the good graces of the family. Needless to say, his friend Mr. Darcy was not as fortunate as he was, immediately striking an attitude but has taken an interest to Lizzie, as it is only she who seem to rebuff his opinions and thoughts. As the story goes, we get to watch them develop their feelings for each other, particularly when circumstances arise, such as the incidents with Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy’s role in Jane’s heartbreak. 

So far Keira Knightley has been my favorite Elizabeth Bennett. She played the role quite well and convincingly. It’s one of Knightley’s lighter roles, but she was determined to show the independence of her character. Despite the pride her character possessed, she had an air of humility to her character, her responses while proud, come off as humble. Her attitude and portrayal matched that of Macfadyen’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy. He was able to bring a distinct air to his character, and if the viewer did not know the story, it would have been a surprised that Darcy was in love with Elizabeth - Macfadyen certainly knew how to make his character’s affections quite subtle. He and Knightley had chemistry, and it can’t be helped but cheer for them to finally get together. Both actors shared great scenes together that really showed their characters’ chemistry. 

An actor that stood out was Rosamund Pike’s portrayal of Jane - it was impossible not to love her character and root for her. This was a chance for Pike to show a softer side of her and she gives a wonderful performance. It made me wish she had as much screen time as Knightley. Another stand-out performance was Jena Malone as Lydia. I understand that her character was a bit silly but she didn’t overplay her character nor she tried to steal the scene with her antics. Rather, it was the portrayal that made Lydia a bit tolerable, and Malone’s performance was able to give that. 

The way it was filmed really added to the tone of the film. The scenery was beautiful, the houses were grand, and some scenes really hit the spot - whether it was the writing, the acting, the framing. If not for the great cinematography would the style of the film not emerge fully. Joe Wright did terrific work bringing it all together. This is a wonderful adaptation and a must-watch for fans of the novel and of the actors. 

Final Word: It was quite romantic, and both Knightley and Macfadyen performed very well. 

Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
Director: Joe Wright
Year: 2005

12 comments:

  1. You liked Jena's performance!!!! YAY!!!! She did manage to steal a scene from Knightley where where she took her glass of wine. She was like "my wine bitch!" That is why she is.... THE BEST IN THE WORLD!

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    1. She was great in the role. I watched the mini-series alongside this and I wanted to kill the Lydia character. I was glad that she portrayed the character with finesse and made Lydia quite likable.

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  2. I have not read the novel, so I can't compare, but I find this film utter perfection.

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    1. I liked this one; loved how it was adapted and how everything was just beautiful.

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  3. I haven't seen other Pride & Prejudice adaptions but this one, is my favorite. And the reason is not that it looks fabulous and beautiful, and it's not the performances of all the ladies and Southerland. It's the performance of Matthew Macfadyen! Why? Because that movie, out of everything else he has done, is the only time I've found him attractive! I saw him in Ripper Street, Death At the Funeral etc, and I just don't think anything about him. Nothing. But the moment he appears in Pride & Prejudice, and bang, he is attractive. And for me, in my mind, that's exactly what Mr. Darcy is about.. the way he holds himself, the way he talks, stares, that makes him attractive !

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    1. I'm currently working on watching the web series (and looking forward for the zombified version), but this is my favorite so far. I haven't seen Macfayden in anything else, but he does make an amazing Darcy.

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  4. I liked this one too. My favorite is of course the BBC miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. However, that film is like 8 hours long. This one is a great condensed version!

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    1. I was wondering how they'd stretch the content when I first watched the BBC miniseries. I enjoyed that one as well.

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  5. Such a beautiful movie and loved the performances. Great review!

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  6. I cannot deny that this film is one I do enjoy every time I watch it but if I had to choose my favourite Jane Austin story, it would have to be Sense & Sensibility. And I am with you on Keira Knightley being a great Elizabeth Bennett. I really did like her performance in this. How are you finding the book so far? :)

    Mo // Blog || W.M.L

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    1. I have yet to read and watch Sense & Sensibility. As for Pride & Prejudice, it's good so far. It's currently on hold though, as I'm also in between a few books at the moment.

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