Director: Joe Wright
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
Screenplay: Deborah Moggach
Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew McFayden, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike
Welcome to my first book to movie review on this blog! I’ve actually done several before back on my Tumblr that I moved to here so feel free to check them out if you would like.
So, about a week ago, I read Shades of Milk and Honey which is basically Pride and Prejudice but with magic and everytime I read a Jane Austen adaptation, it gives me the urge to rewatch something Pride and Prejudice related. This is actually my second time watching this movie and I actually feel like I liked it more this time around for some reason.
As a movie
Gosh, there is so much to like in this movie. For one, the feel and atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography is so stunning. I especially loved the shot when Elizabeth is on the tire swing and she starts swinging around and the camera is as if you were on the swing and seeing what she’s seeing. I love all the side shots giving you a glimpse of the interiors of all the buildings and you really get to see what Lizzie is seeing when she first enters the room. The warm color palette gives the movie such a vibrant but homely feel along with the soothing piano score.
^She plays the same piano music that is prevalent at the beginning of the movie and according to the director commentary, it signifies that coming to your lover should feel like coming home and that kind of makes my heart swoon even more.
In terms of the acting, I love Keira Knightley as Lizzie Bennet. I feel like she was born for these types of historical roles. It’s funny though because apparently the director almost didn’t choose her because she was too pretty…And of course, Matthew McFayden as Mr. Darcy is just absolute perfection. I didn’t even realize he was my Mr. Darcy until I saw him as Darcy. I just feel like he embodies everything Darcy is. He’s socially awkward in a time and place when being socially awkward is kind of a death wish and he does arrogance and stoicism very well so that the only instance he laughs, you kind of feel your heart swoon. I think both Keira and Matthew have amazing chemistry together as well and their banter plays off each other so naturally.
The other actors are also great especially the Bennet family and that really helped sell the chemistry of the Bennett family to me. And of course, the relationships between the sisters was portrayed well too.
I love how the movie was true to the mannerisms of the time period but also kept it contemporary for modern audiences and I don’t find myself wondering what so-and-so said which I really liked.
As a book to movie:
I do admit this movie is kind of a representation of what mainstream media thinks P&P is. A love story. I do feel sometimes the movie forsakes the other things that Jane Austen is important for like the social commentary and the witty irony. You can take it as a good or bad thing because on the one hand the relationship between Lizzie and Darcy was so wonderfully developed but then the other aspects of the plot were lacking. But I think that the movie kept just enough of plot elements and essence of the novel that had me satisfied. And what’s important to me is that the character’s essences were captured which it was (although I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice for at least 3 years now).
I’m planning on doing a review of more of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations including the 1995 bbc miniseries and the youtube webseries The Lizzie Bennet diaries so tuned for those!