After working today, I decided to watch Pride and Prejudice, the 2005 version, again — oh, I don’t know, I guess for the fifth or so time.
Equipped with a slice of chocolate mousse cake (I bought a whole one earlier in the afternoon whilst sauntering about the mall), I inserted the DVD in my drive (I watched from my laptop) and readied myself for the warm, fuzzy feelings. Ha! Yes, I still get that every time I watch the movie and read the book.
I must say that the movie stayed true to the book, although it was thoroughly tailored for the modern taste, in my opinion. I watched the alternate U.S. ending once, I remember, and regretted it ever since. Jane Austen must have been turning in her grave with those kisses that never were. Goddess Divine?! So not Lizzie Bennet! And I must have missed it but I never thought Kitty and Lydia to be so overly giddy about almost everything. The scene where they close up on Mary with her yearning look for Collins after he proposed and got rejected by Elizabeth also got to me. Mary in the book was wanting culture, focused in refining her skills and busy reading. I didn’t remember her having such inner, possibly romantic, regard for Collins; or any sort of regard for that matter.
Overall, though, the movie was great (strictly arbitrary opinion, owing to the fact that this is the only Pride and Prejudice adaptation I saw; though I’m very much eager to see the 1995 series with Colin Firth). I’m fairly interested to see his version of Darcy for, I dare say, Matthew was a superb Darcy with a little hint of 19th century…sexiness, to put it tamely. Keira was spot on as the fiery Elizabeth; and her scene at the ball where she snuck away from the embarrassing farce her family was flaunting, except for Jane of course, was absolutely exquisite.
The book will still remain on top, as in the case of any other movie adaptation. Jane Austen with her wit and perfect grammar concocted a romantic story that will stand the test of time. I used to loathe romantic novels because, well, I really never believed in that kind of love anyway. And although I still am the same cynic, I deeply appreciate what Miss Austen had bestowed to the world.
Lizzie was prejudice, for sure, and Darcy the pride. I like to think, however, that both have the two qualities only in different nuances. Lizzie’s hasty branding of Darcy as the bad son who shunned Wickham of his inheritance is evidence of her prejudice. But who can blame her? She managed to hate Darcy from the moment she overheard him saying she wasn’t attractive enough to interest him. Darcy, on the other hand, was pride incarnate. His quizzical look, manner of talking are manifestations of his high rank, thus may seem proud to those below. But his aversion for the whole Bennet family, for me, showed his prejudice for the bourgeois. Nevertheless, Jane Austen showed us their struggle to overcome their shortcomings and eventually break the barriers of status and wealth; the overwhelming hurdles of matrimonial matches during her time until today.
The personalities of Austen’s characters fit perfectly in the broad spectrum of human dynamics; and this is the reason why I deeply adore this particular story of the pursuit of those fettered in society’s norms and their desire to break the boundaries and step beyond the threshold of what is considered acceptable to the pernicious eye of high society.
As I finish my slice of cake and eject the DVD from the drive, I will leave you with this:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortunate, must be in want of a wife.”
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