Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book & Movie & TV Mini Series Review- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Hello wonderful book readers! I have returned to you finally. Today I wanted to talk about three things that have been on my mind and they all have something to do with one lady. A writer. Whose name was Jane Austen. 

And of course, the wonderful book I am talking about is "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. This is my most recent Jane Austen read (I'm currently reading "Emma" though) and I thought I would share my thoughts and feelings about it. Along with the two most popular adaptations the 2005 movie by Joe Wright and the BBC miniseries from 1995.

We shall start off with the book. Here is all the technical info taken from GoodReads. 

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

When I went into this book, I had already seen the black and white version of it with Greer Garson and Lawrence Oliver and the more recent 2005 Keira Knightley version. So I already knew the generalness of the plot and the characters. 

The first half of the book was wonderful. You know that feeling you get when you come home after a long trip and you just breathe in the fresh air and sleep in your own bed? That's how it felt for me reading the first half. But afterwards, I don't know what happened. If it was the fact that I grew impatient to finish the book or not, but afterwards it wasn't as enjoyable. I won't hold that against the book because honestly I don't think I could use that as an excuse to call this book bad. 

As far as my actual analyzing of the book goes... I'm almost at a loss of words. Whether or not you like the book I think that "It is a truth universally acknowledged that this is one of the most well thought out romances we know to this day". And really, at the end of the day I don't have anything negative to say about the book. Except that it maybe wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, I just didn't fall head over heels in love with it.

Five stars out of Five.  



Now to talk about the movie. (Sigh). We have a shaky relationship. Anyway, here is all the movie info...

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

  -  Drama | Romance  -  23 November 2005 (USA)




  (novel),  (screenplay)

This was the first adaptation I saw of Pride and Prejudice that really made me want to read the book. So it sparked an interest in me. Everything before that made the story feel media ocher and boring. Too prim and proper for my taste. (Don't worry, I'm scolding myself for thinking such things). The only way I can describe this movie is with one word "modern". 

I liked how rustic it felt, how it gravitated away from the regency style. But I thought Elizabeth's and Darcy's relationship was too sudden. They hated each other and then BOOM, Mr. Darcy is proposing in the rain.... it was somewhat awkward for me after a while. 

Also, while I'm on the subject of Mr. Darcy, I didn't think he was well cast. I admire Matthew Macfadyen as an actor, as an extremely attractive man, but for me... he just doesn't feel like Mr. Darcy. He's too soft and fluffy. And don't even get me started on Keira Knightley's portrayal as Elizabeth Bennet. Once I finished the book I couldn't even watch her because the Elizabeth in the movie, was so different from the Elizabeth in the book. Again, I'm not bashing the actors for there talent, I just think they were miscast. 

Two stars out of five


Then we go onto a more happier note! The BBC 1995 adaption. Here's the info...

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Romance | Drama
Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart.

This adaption was... perfect. Yes I said that. There was time and space during this adaption, and the story never felt rushed. Whereas in the movie where I disliked the two main actors, in here I was in total approval. I loved Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy as he was exactly how I imagined him. Dark, subtle, and yet when you see him happy it just makes you uncontrollably happy. 

Jennifer Ehle did a wonderful job as well. She was fiery and hot-tempered when she needed to be, but also cool and alone when the book called for it. I loved her as Elizabeth. She truly lit up the whole production. 

I also loved the other side characters, well besides the actress who played Jane. I thought she fell flat. But everyone else was divine. It felt like you really were watching the book come alive. 

Five stars out of Five. 


So with all this being said, go out and read this book! It's wonderful. And go watch the 1995 mini series! 

Right now I am currently reading "Emma" by Jane Austen, and plan on doing a book, movie, and mini series review of it when I'm finished. 

Until then, keep reading. 

Miss Book Reader