Joe Wright’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a beautiful drama based on Jane Austen’s novel from 1813. I think it is a very close representation of the novel, and I really enjoy watching it.
First of all, it is definitely a film of particular taste. Because the film is set in the early 19th century, the language is very different, it is understandable, but obviously it sounds different to modern films to make it more believable and represent the time it is set in. Also this is particularly seen through the music, which is mostly calming piano music, but also joyful ball music; this is mostly diegetic music that is involved in the film. There are all the aspects of the film being set in the 19th century; the costume, the locations, the people; so if you prefer the modern films that you can relate to, do not choose this. However, I think it is clever and brilliantly set in this time, making it believable it was from then, even if it was actually released in 2005.
So the plot. I assume most would have heard of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, but I’m going to give a full review on it anyway. Set in the countryside, in the big Bennet family, one of the five daughters, Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), believes all men are not for her and she’ll never find the one, also she believes she must marry for love, not wealth, nor someone pushed towards her and arranged. But things become more difficult for her when her pushy mother, Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn), troubled by nerves tries to force her into a marriage to someone she doesn’t love; Mrs Bennet of course, tries to marry off all her daughters in hope to make sure they are wealthy and comfortable for when she grows older.
At the beginning of the film, it throws you straight into this idea of marriage, as a rich man arrives to town; this being Mr Bingley (Simon Woods). The hope is for him to marry one of the Bennet daughters, the most likely fall being to Jane (Rosamund Pike), the eldest; the film follows her story but mostly side-tracks to Elizabeth.
The audience is more attached to Elizabeth’s character, this is mainly because she is so different from her sisters; she is more independent and is more assertive in her own rights, which in that time would not be the norm. Elizabeth swears all men are rude until one finally challenges her and she claims she hates him, but as the film proceeds her feelings are more lost and confused. It is very obvious what the ending is going to be and it isn’t hidden, all the advertisement for the film anyway show Elizabeth happy with her man. The film is all related round Elizabeth as we watch her struggle with this rude man. This man being Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen); a very complex character, outspoken and offensive, yet the audience see there is something he is struggling with himself, and we notice a likeness when he looks at Elizabeth, even if his words contradict what we see.
Inconvenient and consistent crashes between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s lives, means they constantly see each other and we watch the romance grow. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a film full of traditional dancing balls, full of celebration, although contradictory in some where we watch Elizabeth struggle through her pain and confusion with the effect Mr Darcy can have on her. We witness their lives, become aggravated by Mr Darcy’s remarks, and adore the moments they share together. Well I do anyway, I just think this film is really beautiful. It’s not cheesy and it’s excellently played by all the actors and actresses.
‘Pride and Prejudice’ is full of depth, there is a lot going on, it can get a bit confusing knowing which characters are which and whether they are significant or not. Although, by the end of the film, all of the questions are answered and nothing is left unknown. Some people might find the film slow paced or a bit boring in some parts, it is a two hour film and it takes a lot to watch it. But I think as a film overall it is great even if it is a bit hard watching at times.
So if you like a 19th century based romantic drama, this is for you. It is a good film even if it feels like it takes a lot of time, it builds the emotions well and creates a good drama. However remember, this film is definitely for certain people’s tastes, you’ll either love it or hate it.