By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet
Joe Wright’s adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” is not only based on one of the greatest books of all time it is also one of the greatest films of all time.
Sometimes we jump to conclusions about other people and let our pride stand in the way of us getting to know them fully and as a result we never give them a chance. There is, at the same time, value in waiting to find the right person to marry. Caution is wise, because deception is possible at the hands of a perfidious lover.
Pride and Prejudice is a wonderful book written by Jane Austen. This new film version of the novel, directed by Joe Wright, is breathtakingly beautiful. The film tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett, a comparatively poor young woman who is searching for love. She meets a man named Mr. Darcy who she misjudges and decides to hate. Later in the movie she must revise her earlier judgments and ends up marrying this wealthy and wonderful man.
This film could be considered a "period film" because it does show the English clothing and countryside at the turn of the 19th century in a very convincing and authentic way. The Production Designer, Sarah Greenwood, does a superb job along with the Costume Designer, Jacqueline Durran of producing and authentic Mis en scene for the film. In one of the final scenes of the film as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett agree to spend their lives together they do not kiss, they only put their heads close together as the morning light shines between them. What a great job of filming by the director of Photography, Roman Osin. Only after they are married do we see them kiss in the film and this fits in to the rules of society for that time period.
The lighting is very effective in the scene where Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins are discussing the possibility of his marrying one of the daughters. In the background we see the shady lighting with all of the daughters in the background like they are being auctioned off like cattle; Shady lighting for shady dealings.
I love the fade that goes from Elizabeth Bennett as she is blowing on a feather in her hand, to the fire at the party – with the sound of flaring flames as an audible connector which unifies the transition.
The editor also achieved a wonderful transition by cutting on action in order to remove the people from the dance scene between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. The Editor, Paul Tothill, shows such skill and good judgment in the job he did editing of this film. This scene effectively shows how intently Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett have focused their thoughts, emotions, and attention upon one another in an attempt to figure out what the other person is thinking.
The Music by Dario Marianelli infuses this film with a profound emotional impact. The music that plays, matches the dialogue perfectly, when Elizabeth goes to visit Mr. and Mrs. Collins at Kent. The non-melodic, aimless music in this scene is very well suited to show the boring passage of time that has occurred up until Elizabeth went to Kent.
When Mr. Darcy comes abruptly to visit Elizabeth at the cottage, at the beginning of the scene Elizabeth is seated and Mr. Darcy is standing but then Elizabeth stands up and the camera angle is on eye level. This suggests to us effectively that Elizabeth Bennett is in every way Mr. Darcy's equal.
This film is also the product of an excellent Screenplay by Debora Moggach. The background dialogue in the text delivered by Mr. Collins as he is preaching is the perfect precursor to the realization that Elizabeth has as she learns of the role that Mr. Darcy played in separating her sister Jane, from Mr. Bingley. The change in focus of the camera upon Mr. Darcy and then back to Elizabeth when Mr. Darcy looks at her and she gasps and looks forward again, is a brilliant and effective way to show how her outward curiosity changes to inward horror and rage.
This film has a abundance of excellent camera work. One of the most classic is the scene where Mr. Wickam speaks to Elisabeth Bennett to justify his situation by lying to Elizabeth about the past actions of Mr. Darcy. Mr. Wickam is standing and Elizabeth is seated. This high/low camera angle during the scene between Mr. Wickam and Elizabeth Bennett shows the way that Mr. Wickam is dominating her emotions through his deceptive words.
The dark and rainy weather in the conflict scene, as Mr. Darcy proposes and is rejected, reflects the bad mood of Elizabeth. After he is rejected, Mr. Darcy also experiences a shift to being in a bad mood as well. The thunder rumbles in perfect timing orchestrated by the sound designer, just after Mr. Darcy makes an insulting assessment of her family. This sound of thunder signals the moment that Elizabeth looses her temper. It is one of the best and most emotionally riveting scenes I have ever seen.
The Casting by Jina Jay is so well done Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyn are supremely convincing as they portray this relationship that grows and changes so much
during this film. Each character in the film is a perfect match to those in the story. Elizabeth’s mother even manages to be neurotic without being annoying or unbelievable. The actor’s portrayal of Mr. Collins is also absolutely priceless! This is a team effort and it is a masterpiece.
Most people end up marrying someone who is like them in intelligence and values. Wickam and Lydia, the first couple in the Bennett household to marry, seem to suggest to us that they deserve each other because of their lack of character and that they will no doubt be miserable together. When Mr. Bingley and Jane marry, we may feel that love can conquer all. When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy marry we can feel that there is the possibility for happy endings and true love that lasts forever.
Whom we marry is of the utmost importance to our happiness and this movie gives us the best marriage partner selection advice – True and enduring love must be based on more than the physical attraction which Elizabeth first felt for Mr. Wickam. True love is the product of careful and patient study and action which sometimes requires revision and forgiveness along the way.
Joe Wright’s “Pride and Prejudice” is one of the greatest films of all time because of the culminating efforts of many talented people. This beautiful film was only possible through the efforts of an excellent cast, talented crew, and an amazing director. This film skillfully portrays a timeless message that is true and ever so important in this world that we share together.
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