Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice

By The Pleasant Times Movie Critic, Miss dePoint

Mr. Darcy Finds Elizabeth Bennet Tolerable




Mr. Darcy Finds Elizabeth Bennet Tolerable
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Thomson, Hugh
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I hope you all have been enjoying the beautiful and humorous A&E Pride and Prejudice series showing on Masterpiece Classics this month. In my opinion it is one of the best movies and all the actors do an excellent job. Whoever was in charge of casting got it just right.


I speak from prejudice, of course, for I have seen this film at least twenty times. There are a few films that I watch over and over and still cannot tell that people are acting in them! This series is one of them.


I really don't see how any newer versions can compare, or even why they bothered to make a newer version. As a matter of fact I refuse to watch the newer Pride and Prejudice. Why would I want to when the A&E one is just about perfect?


The scenery and locations are wonderful, and I quite envy Elizabeth her long country walks.

The music actually fits the scenes and characters, though I do not always care for the straining violins. However, it isn't nearly as annoying as some of the newer music scores have been in the Austen films.


'Mr.


Mr. Collins and Elizabeth, from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen circa 1894
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Thomson, Hugh
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Mr. Darcy Enters a Room in Which Elizabeth Bennet is Seated at Her Writing Desk
Mr. Darcy Enters a Room in Which Elizabeth Bennet is Seated at Her Writing Desk Giclee Print
Thomson, Hugh
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The costumes are too low for the women, and that is a great pity and ruinous to the enjoyment of the film. It reduces it from being a family film to a chick flick (even then it is not so nice). I think the filmmakers could have had a wonderful film without the immodesty, and that way the men could have a decent film to watch (though there are no explosions, murders or spaceships, I am sure that there is a gentleman in all men that could appreciate the fine acting and humor of the story).

However, there are some gowns that are decent and pretty amongst the costumes and one can get great ideas from them. Indeed, since this and other Jane Austen films first came out, the regency styles have been quite popular even amongst fashion designers.

Elizabeth Bennet Refuses Mr. Darcy


Elizabeth Bennet Refuses Mr. Darcy
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Thomson, Hugh
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'
"I Have Not an Instant to Lose" Says Elizabeth Bennet to Mr. Darcy
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Thomson, Hugh
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The length of the film is satisfying, for those who like to see as much of the story as they can get. Towards the end, the Lydia mess gets a bit tiresome, as if they are running out of steam by that time, but that could be only noticeable when you are watching it in its entirety.


I have recently found another, fuller review of this series (with pictures!) done by someone more knowledgeable than myself about the film, the names of the actors, directors, etc. I really don't pay much attention to the names, and I think interested readers might enjoy these reviews. Here is the link, and if you scroll down to the P&P part one you will find an interesting comparison of the characters throughout several different film versions (This link is provided with all the usual disclaimers given for sites that one hasn't really read thoroughly).



Here are a few of my favorites from the film:



Which character would I invite to tea? Col. Fitzwilliam! He is such a fine, happy fellow, and so cheerful. One of my favorite characters, even though he is only a small part of the book and film.


Favorite lines:


Mostly come from Mr. Bennet:
Trying to prevent the re-telling of the ball: "No lace, I beg of you!"
"Would that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!"

After meeting Mr. Wickham: "How kind of him to entertain us so eloquently with his misfortunes"

After Jane's Disappointment: "You promised me that if I called on him that he would marry one of my daughters!"

And his laying-down-the-law to his girls after Lydia goes astray: He was going to forbid a soldier to "pass through the town;" was not going to let his girls out unless they could prove that they had spent "ten minutes in a useful manner", "Balls will be strictly prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters!" and after ten years "if you are a good girl, I will take you to a review at the end of them."

Favorite scenes:

I enjoyed seeing the changes in Elizabeth and Darcy as the film progressed. She found out he actually had a heart, and he found out that she was capable of being nice back!

Least favorite scenes:

The Bennets at the Ball (any ball) were quite embarrassing, even for the unrelated viewer.

Elizabeth's haughty look at Darcy when she meets him in the woods at Rosings Park. It was really very cruel!


Wish they had included: The ending of the book more accurately: Mrs. Bennet trying to get rid of the odious Mr. Darcy (for Jane and Bingley's benefit) by sending him on long tramps over the hills with Elizabeth, not realizing that they were engaged and found this treatment quite nice! And the "happily ever after" section that tells how it all turned out- what Lady Catherine thought in the end, and whether or not Jane and Bingley spent all their money.

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