Come inside my world where all I do is read and read lots and lots of romance..............................

Sunday, 11 February 2007

'Pride & Prejudice', the Ultimate Romance Movie

‘Pride & Prejudice’ is a classic tale, based on the timeless novel of the same name by Ms Jane Austen. It follows Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley) and her sisters’ search for love, guided by their nuisance of a matchmaking mother (Brenda Blethyn) and their sensible father (Donald Sutherland). Elizabeth, against her better judgement, finds herself falling for the distant and stuck-up Mr.Darcy (Matthew MacFayden).

In my opinion, the casting for this movie was exceptionally clever. I thought Keira Knightley was born to play Elizabeth. Many people say that she was far too pretty for the role and that this took away from the movie but I disagree strongly. Knightley was made-up as plain as possible with dull, frizzy hair and no make-up. And at the time where ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is set, it wasn’t attractive to be flat-chested and skinny, unlike nowadays where size zero is accepted to be the norm. But anyway, pushing past appearance, Knightley does an excellent job in portraying Elizabeth Bennett. She’s ballsy, she speaks her mind, she reads, she is witty, Knightley plays Elizabeth just as how I imagined Elizabeth to be when I first picked up that wonderful novel.

Knightley’s character clashes with MacFayden’s Mr.Darcy exquisitely, creating waves upon waves of sexual tension that had me hooked from their very first scene together. I loved MacFayden’s take on Mr.Darcy, Aloof, self-important and endearingly awkward when in the presence of Elizabeth. I found myself daydreaming about MacFayden after seeing this movie. He was so magnetic. This is something that I can’t say for the BBC version. I know, I know, Colin Firth is very handsome. But he looks like my Dad. So you can see why that didn’t work for me.

I thought Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett was pure genius on the part of the casting director. His quiet wit was the perfect tit for his wife’s meddling tat. Brenda Blethyn was hilarious in this movie. Her desperate efforts to find her daughters suitable husbands are misguided and cause only trouble and embarrassment for the family. Her lack of tact and her drama-queen antics had me in hysterics at times during the movie. Judi Dench as the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourg was fabulous as one can only expect from this legend. And Mr.Collins played by Tom Hollander provided some of the most scene-stealing performances in the film.

It is common knowledge that ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is the ultimate romance novel alongside ‘Wuthering Heights’. And after the tremendous success of the BBC’s production, this movie had to live up to some pretty high standards. Especially in terms of romance. Well, it sure as hell did it for me. I thought the chemistry between Knightley and MacFayden was positively electrifying. I so badly yearned to be Knightley during the scenes featuring only the two of them. The highlight of this movie for me was when Darcy and Elizabeth danced together, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. Believe me, the movie is worth seeing for this scene alone.

Besides the fabulous cast and the delectable romance, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ can also boast some of the most stunning scenery I have seen in a movie. The English moors are so luscious and the quaint villages and the great manor houses are to die for. This film is beautifully shot, using tiny details like a hand movement to generate a startling effect. The soundtrack creates a charming atmosphere of old England especially during the dancing scenes. The music also contributes to the romantic ambiance which is vital to the success of this movie. This is most definitely a romantic comedy, the comedy being much more subtle than movies like ‘American Pie’. My tummy was aching with laughter when I finally stepped out of the movie theatre.

I guess you can say that I loved this movie and that it is ideal for a night in on Valentine’s Day.. So hop to your nearest DVD rental store and pick up a copy. You can find more details about ‘Pride & Prejudice’ here.

By the by, a little bit of trivia for you. The ending for ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is different for the UK. The viewers in US cinemas got to see the final kiss in front of the moon, while we in the UK and Ireland don’t get the scene at all.

Rating: 43/50
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ames said...

I just bought this movie on Saturday. My parents bought me the BBC version for Christmas. :P I love it.

That sucks about the ending for you guys.

Kristie (J) said...

I just saw (bought) this one myself not long ago. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I've never read P&P and until I saw the movie, didn't even know what it was about. And since I'm one of the very rare ones who doesn't melt into a puddle at the sight of Colin Firth (in fact he does nothing for me at all) I think this was probably the right one for me. And what Ames said about the kiss. I wonder why they didn't have it on your side of the pond?

Kate D. said...

Oh, I hate to be the wet blanket but I like the BBC version so much better. It wasn't because of the acting (though I'll admit to being one of the Firth lovers), it was because of the script.

The actors in the new P&P were great. Don't get me wrong. But I am a fussy double major in English and history. I adore Jane Austen. I actually took a class in college called "Jane Austen and her Predecessors." So I was annoyed when they cut Austen's dialogue to hell and back.

Yes, I realize you couldn't do the whole novel unless you did a mini-series, but seriously? Seriously! You don't cut out the part about his admiration for her fine eyes! You sure as hell don't cut out Austen's original lines to make way for new, jarring dialogue.

I thought that "You've bewitched me body and soul" line was very sweet, but it was SO not Austen and SO not Darcy. The man's repressed, for God's sake. Yes, he says, "I ardently admire and love you" but he also ends that whole first proposal by apologizing for "disturbing her day."

And I realize Lizzie's the original free spirit, but women during Austen's time simply did not run around with unbound hair, or meet with men in their nightgowns, or (GASP!) go to a ball without gloves. That last one would be like me showing up to teach my high school students in a bikini.

Sorry. I'm being very nerdy about this. My critique partner loved the movie, and I thought it had it's high points too (for once, Jane was actually prettier than Lizzie!)

I just felt like the movie took serious liberties with the book. And since I Austen/P&P/history, that bugged me.

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

You're not being a wet blanket Kate, I totally get what you're saying. I've read the book myself and loved it. But when I go see a movie that is based on a book, I try to completely put the book from my mind, as the movie can never live up to it

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