Friday, February 15, 2013
Reads to Reels: Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice has been subjected to several dramatizations, but the 2005 movie starring Kiera Knightly is my first. I only finished the book a day or two before watching the movie, and indeed looked for the movie because I wanted to experience the story again -- and it was a success in fanning the flames of my enjoyment. Liberties are taken, of course: quite a few lines are added, and areas of the book are squished. The scene in which Mr. Darcy is rebutted by Jane is a prime example. After he declares his love and proposes (woodenly so, an exception to most of the scenes), Jane refuses him and then tells him why, in no uncertain terms. In the novel, Darcy sends a letter to answer her condemnations of his character, but here he tries to argue with her. The letter is still used, but doesn't dump as much information at once. The letters in general are integrated into the story well, with the most potent bits being used as narrative, read aloud by one character during transition scenes -- like a carriage ride between estates. Lydia's transgression is truncated: the family learns she's run off and is shacking up with a dandy, they're scandalized, and the next moment they receive word that she's married, and all is well. The tension should have been stretched out a bit there, I think.
A memorable and fun movie -- definitely a keeper for me.