DISCLAIMER: I know that Pride and Prejudice (the book) is better than the movie. I know this to be true of all books.
In fact, when I studied abroad in Spain as an undergrad, I took one book with me: Pride and Prejudice. I’m not sure why I didn’t pack other books, since I am an avid reader and since I knew I wouldn’t have TV to help me fall asleep. Consequently, I read Pride and Prejudice about 15 times that summer. I would finish it, and start it again. I’M NOT EVEN SORRY.
I wrote a couple papers on the book while in school and it is one of my top five books of all time. Just a side note.
The movie, though. (This is MovieMondays, after all, and not Book Mondays…) Let’s talk about the movie.
You shouldn’t watch this movie if:
- You can’t sit down and/or still for 129 minutes.
- Old-timey movies annoy you.
- Keira Knightly makes you frustrated and you only like her in Pirates of the Caribbean.
- You find it hard to understand a British accent.
- You haven’t read the book – THIS GOES FOR ALL MOVIES. Read the book first, people. Read the book first.
None of the above is true about me, however, so I have watched and re-watched Pride and Prejudice since it came out on DVD. (And I mean this version. I have nothing against the older version. I just happen to love the newer one.)
I’ll do my best not to throw in too many book comments.
Pride and Prejudice
Released: November 23, 2005
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
1. Girl Power
Watching movies from the olden days can be frustrating if women not having any rights frustrates you. Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) is not your typical lady. She is stubborn, and strong, and opinionated, and all the wonderful things that women weren’t allowed to be back in the day. Elizabeth chooses her own path and her own way. To juxtapose this, Elizabeth’s sisters symbolize different types of women. Jane (Rosamund Pike) is sweet and obedient and kind. Lydia (Jena Malone) is frivolous and spoiled. Kitty (Carey Mulligan) wants to be just like Lydia. Mary (Talulah Riley) is different and plain. The Bennet sisters represent a wide range of women, which I love. Women can be all things!
2. Mr. Darcy as The Anti-hero
I’m a fan of the anti-hero, and Mr. Darcy certainly represents this concept in the movie. (I wrote a paper about this. He’s a Byronic hero, or so I theorized.) Played by Matthew Macfayden, the 2005 Mr. Darcy is quiet, reserved, and interesting. He delivers all of Mr. Darcy’s lines with impeccable grace, and, when necessary, disgust and anger. Mr. Darcy is not quick to show emotions, but on screen his disdain for the majority of the movie is palpable, even though he is a man of few words. The same can be said for his change of heart and his obvious admiration of Elizabeth. Even when his thoughts appear as a voice-over, he is a powerful Mr. Darcy.
3. The Style
Pride and Prejudice is set in London in the 19th century, and I am in love with what all the women wear. These days, outfits and style range from classy to trashy and everywhere in between. Back then women were poised and graceful and always, always dressed appropriately. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sweat pants. But I truly enjoy seeing the styles from the past. Sometimes I think it would be easier to have a set dress code for life, in the same way I was jealous of schools that had dress codes.
How weird am I if I want all those outfits? I’m not sure where I would wear them. But I definitely want them.
4. The Sisterly Bond
I have an older sister, and she is fantastic, and this movie shows how important family and sisters can be. When watching Jane and Elizabeth, I see my sister and me… joking and judging and laughing and figuring out life. I truly don’t know how girls without sisters ever figure anything out. Moms are great, sure, but there are some things you can only talk about with sisters. I love watching all the sisters interact in this movie because, as I said, they are all different, but together that make up their family.
If you have the time, sit down and watch this masterpiece. After you’ve read the book, of course.
Check out the blog Jane Austen’s World.