Wednesday, January 28, 2015

All Jane Austen part 2

Once again, find myself at the end of the month, and finally getting my arse in gear to talk about the Jane Austen stuff.  I was really leaning towards using Bridget Jones's Diary, in fact that was the original idea, but last minute today I changed my mind. 

Pride and Prejudice: The 2005 version starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

plot:Five sisters are all trying to find their own purpose, for a couple of them, that means finding husbands. This leads to the oldest sister Jane finding not just love but that of a wealthy husband, only to have obstacles in the form of disapproving in-laws and a younger sister running away with a man. Elizabeth, the second sister, also finds herself falling in love. But for her, the obstacles are more inward then you would think. By standing by her principles, she turns down the first marriage proposal for lack of interest, and hides behind her stubbornness nearly loosing the man she really loves. And Lydia, one of the younger sisters, runs off with a man known to be devious and untrustworthy, selfishly ruins the family's reputation.

This is the classic, and I mean classic story by Jane Austen. Some would point to this and say it is truly the base point for all "romance" and "chick lit" to come out in the last 200 years. If you've read my posts on Bridget Jones's Diary, you know there have been many remakes and tributes of this story.
Yes, I've talked about this film in the past, it was one of the movies I covered in year one of the blog. But, here I am again, with a bit more on the topic.

P/P was published in 1813, so that's actually 202 years ago. Damn! and it's never been out of print.
But, the fact when it was first written, shacking up with someone unmarried, or running off to elope was a shameful act. Completely scandalous. So this careless act by the younger sister Lydia, is the real focal point in the story. It's what leads to Jane's humiliation and near fall of loosing Mr. Bingley, and the turning point for Mr. Darcy who ends up being the hero; because he ends up finding a way to legitimize Lydia's marriage. 

In this film version, we see a hint of abusiveness from Mr. Wickham, after he does legally marry Lydia. Of course, this is after we the viewers, have learned that Wickham picks young girls to seduce, having tried to do the same thing to Mr. Darcy's sister and even Elizabeth. All with the intention of stealing their money. 

Mr. Darcy, the ultimate hero archetype. When he first meets Elizabeth, he insults her, pretending to show little to no interest in her, then goes out of his way for the rest of the film to be around her. He's so concerned about her life and the members of her social circle, that when he first learns of the scandal, he talks Mr. Bingley out of his own desires for Jane. Not out of honest respect, but out of how just socializing with anyone who is connected to Lydia will make him look. Total fear man. Despite this, he turns around and asks Elizabeth to marry him. When she says no, and gives her reason, Mr. Darcy hatches a plan to fix the big bad. Everyone zooms in on this and points out how much he sacrifices for his love for her when he becomes the hero. But, dude, he does it cause otherwise his own reputation will be smeared. Really kind of selfish of him.  Love is selfish, don't get me wrong, it really is.

The question of "what will people think" is brought up a lot in this film. Both literally and metaphorically.  We see the characters of both Jane and Elizabeth being careful about how much intelligence/strength they show to others, while the character of Wickham lies his way through the whole thing. Proving, he's not as smart as he thinks he is.

This version also shows Mary, one of the younger sisters and her unrequited love for Mr. Collins. Who, is completely oblivious to her because she's plain, even though, in the film they are a perfect match. Mr. Collins instead accepts a marriage proposal of convenience from Charlotte, Elizabeth's best friend.  Again, the "what will people think" element shows itself. And as their sub-plot progresses, we see how much Mr. Collins' situation improves by his match. It's almost a role reversal with him being more feminine and Charlotte being more masculine.

I'm going to wrap this up. This post has gotten longer then originally meant. And I've barely even touched the surface of this version of the story. P/P is easily one story that can pull a person deep into it. Even if on the surface it doesn't look like your cup of tea.

Till later.

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