September 15, 2005

REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice, Part II

I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Never having had the privilege to read this in high school English, I dismissed works by Austen as extravagantly worded stories of demure women and their lives spent observing their insular world.
I loved it, as I loved the A&E movie! Austen was playful, witty and sarcastic, creating caricatures of personalities. Even though I knew what was to come from the movie, the anticipation for my favourite scenes was heavy. I want to read it again.

Apparently a new film version was just screened at the TIFF, starring Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet. Will she live up to expectations? Jennifer Ehle did an excellent job. Elizabeth Bennet has been described as the character every woman sees herself as, making it indeed a difficult role to play while satisfying the masses. And is it ever possible for Matthew MacFadyen's Mr. Darcy to replace Colin Firth's appraisal of the role? The latter I doubt is possible. I cannot read any speech by Mr. Darcy without imagining Firth's clipping voiceover.
I'm really surprised by how much I love this story! Plotwise, it may be summarized in a few short sentences, but I really love the characters. I definitely recommend the A&E production (1995). Most likely the 2005 film will not do the book justice.

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