Vamshidhar Kommineni

October 10, 2006

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice

Filed under: Movies — Vamshi @ 12:04 am

Rating: 3.5 stars
Link to Ebert’s review
Link to Rotten Tomatoes’ review aggregation
Link to IMDB

Okay, I’ll confess that I watched this movie of my own volition. Mostly because I’ve always loved Jane Austen’s books (read most of them maybe 10-12 years ago). It’s amazing how her books written about two hundred years ago still translate so well to daily life today. Partly it’s because the books are lighthearted and follow the typical boy meets girl setup. Well, in the case of Pride & Prejudice, it’s more like "Boy meets girl. Girl misinterprets boy and hates him. Boy falls madly in love with girl and is thoroughly rebuffed. Many moons and good deeds (on the part of the long suffering boy) later, girl realizes folly and falls equally in love with boy…". But you get the idea :). The other part is because her character outlines are so good and writing style is so accessible that we immediately identify with the characters. She’s one of the few old age authors that I can read without getting tired of the style of prose. And Pride and Prejudice is easily my favorite novel written by her.

Enough about Austen though. This movie is the second major adaptation (and first movie) of Pride and Prejudice. The earlier one was a made for television series that was actually quite good. Probably the only thing that prevents this movie from getting the extra half star is that I still have the mental image of the earlier adaptation’s characters (particularly Colin Firth as Darcy who does a much better job than Matthew Macfadyen in this one). The earlier version was more faithful to the dialogue in the book, but mostly because it was also a lot longer at 5 hours compare to the 2 hrs of the movie. But the movie makers did a good job of preserving the original dialogue for the most important scenes. Keira Knightley fits with effortless ease into the role of Elizabeth Bennet and really makes the movie work. Judi Dench does a great cameo as Catherine de Bourg. I was also much impressed by the scene in the rain where Darcy and Elizabeth confront each other in anger. A liberty taken by the director (the original scene in the book was set in a house) that actually works quite well.

Well worth watching. And if you’re going to be forced into watching a romantic flick by your significant other, or want to watch one for that matter, this is much better fare than the modern crap (most of the plots of which are derived from Jane Austen novels anyway).

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