I recently watched a couple of the Pride and Prejudice screen adaptations. First I finally watched the much-loved the A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, which so many recommended in their wrap-up posts for the Classics’ Bookclub.
A few observations which I typed up as I was viewing:
- Seeing Mr. and Mrs. Bennett on screen removes a bit of the harsh edge of their relationship. I loved their characterization in the book, but watching their banter made it seem more real.
- I love Bingley! What a delight. I found him to be sort of flat in the book, but he is so delightful in this movie, and became one of my favorite characters.
- Lizzie is perfectly portrayed so well by Jennifer Ehrle with those eyes that do indeed sparkle with keen wit. I love her too!
- An hour in, I couldn’t wait to meet Mr. Collins after seeing the other characters come to life. He was appropriately slimy and self-absorbed.
- Seeing Darcy’s smile after the wedding (perhaps the only time in the whole movie?) was a great way to end the movie.
So — all in all — great show that I will be watching again! It’s worth the six hour investment, but what’s with the Darcy bath scene??
And then, less than a week later, I watched the Keira Knightley movie from 2005. I know the main reason I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. Just like following up an excellent book with a movie (no matter the version), following up one excellent screen adaptation of a lovely book with a lesser one just didn’t do it for me. The characterization was fine of the Bennet sisters and even Mr. Darcy, and every scene featuring Mr. Collins made me grin. The main problem is that one just can’t get that suspenseful building love/hate relationship in the shortened version, and that’s the crux of the story, whether told on screen or in novel form.
I also didn’t really like the crowded ball scenes in this version. They might be more accurate, but I found it harder to follow the characters amidst the crowds.
I know I didn’t say anything here that is revolutionary, but I thought that those who have loved this film for so long might enjoy hearing a first-timer’s immediate love, and maybe those of you who were intrigued by all the gushing would like the extra nudge to go ahead and watch it already!!