Sunday, 24 April 2011

Jane Eyre - a review

Here is a review of the new Jane Eyre movie from the USA, where it has already opened. Look out for reviews on this blog in September, when it opens in the UK.

Paul Daniggelis writes from Texas:
Seeing Jane Eyre on the big screen was a tremendous pleasure.
The scenery was often overwhelming in its beauty and the delicate
piano music suited Jane very well. The acting was such that one
was not aware that they were acting. I was alone and allowed myself
to absorb the atmosphere that pervaded the film.

In less than two hours, there simply wasn't time to do the story justice
and I felt it ended rather abruptly. That may be due to the fact that I did
not want it to end. The best scenes from novel and film are the delicious
dialogue sequences between Jane and Rochester. These, again, were
severely curtailed by time restraints.

In order to justify the good nature of Mrs Fairfax, she claims in the film
that she was not aware that the lady in the attic was Rochester's wife.
Where they got that idea I do not know. As far as I can remember,
Charlotte wrote no such thing. Indeed, it is often speculated that it
was Mrs Fairfax who let Richard Mason know of the impending wedding.
How else to explain the untimely appearance of Mason at just the
fateful moment of swearing allegiance.

One other fault, in my opinion, was the full growth of beard and mustache
on Rochester's face. During the final kissing sequence it appears that Jane
gets a mouthful of hair for her troubles. Not a romantic conclusion.

Nevertheless, it was exciting to watch my favorite novel come to life once
again. Too bad they could not have added another hour or so.
Because I experienced a shortfall in an earlier attempt to see this film,
I have been promised the Jane Eyre poster that graces the theater as
soon as the run is over.
For the benefit of young people and those unfamiliar with Charlotte Brontë's story, I wonder that these Brontë films are not prefaced with a written and spoken explanatory note, i.e.

The film you are about to see is based on a novel written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847. It has sold an estimated x number of copies throughout the world. Jane Eyre has been translated into x number of languages and adapted for radio, film, stage and television x number of times. Her sister, Emily, has had equivalent success with her novel, Wuthering Heights written in 1847. Sister Anne, whose classic novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was written in 1848, has achieved classic status as well.
This remarkable family lived and died at their Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire, England.

(NB Check the links on the right)

Below - Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in a scene from the movie. Associated Press/Focus Features.

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