Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jane Eyre- A Review

I enjoyed Jane Eyre a lot. When we came out, I said I loved it, whereas e said she was a bit disappointed. What happens with me is that I'll love something, but as time goes on it'll drop in my estimation a bit, as I ponder the flaws. But, as I say, my first impression was love.

I thought Mia Wasikowska was really great. I really loved her performance, and really empathised with her. I thought she got across a lot of deeper emotion with just a few lines of dialog. E thought she was a bit bland and unmemorable though, so it was a bit of a David and Margret situation going on..

It looked fantastic. Who doesn't love windy moors? It was just how a Bronte adaptation should look, I thought. And the music worked really well too.

My main complaint of the movie was the pace. It clipped along very quickly, and it felt like a chapter of the book got about twenty seconds of screen time. This disappointed me because I wanted to slow down and get more immersed in the world before the plot moved ahead too much.

It felt like the writer had written down all the key points in the book they wanted to hit, and then tried to string them together in the quickest way possible. Early life at the Reed's was summed up very quickly, with John Reed pretty much only getting one scene. And then the long dreary years at Lowood were over quickly too. An important character, the kindly teacher Miss Temple, was left out, and this meant it didn't make that much sense why at such a strict school Jane was allowed to stay with her dying friend. It also meant we didn't see how that nice teacher kind of inspired her on to eventually apply for the job at Thornfield.

Anyways, from this point on it worked better, although the relationship between Jane and Rotchy seemed to develop super fast as well. But I thought the actors had good chemistry (even though The Rotch was meant to be ugly and have a massive forehead- something I was particularly looking forward to).

Another thing that really stood out for me was the absence of Grace Poole. In the book she plays a massive part in building the drama for the revelation of ol' Bertha. For a while in the book Grace is a really frightening chilling character, and it was disappointing for that to be left out. This meant that there wasn't as much build up for Bertha, and consequently the attic wasn't as scary and she wasn't as ominous. I wanted to be SCARED like when I saw a miniseries as a kid, and she leapt up and bit someone on the face. Come on, how can you omit a face bite?

I liked the structure of the plot, how it was revealed in flashback. In other versions I get a bit bored when Jane goes and works at a school and the whole John Rivers bit. I feel like I want to get back to the main plot. So for me it worked well for that to be interspersed throughout the movie, rather than being an annoying boring bit 3/4 through.

Anyways, enough blabbing on. I liked it a lot, and would happily watch it again. Had it been an hour longer, to flesh it out more, I would have really loved it.



Crazyjedidiah said...

I am not a bronte fan, and this still doesn't make me want to see it. I have been put off the entire works of the Brontes by a bad experience with an abridged version of Jane Eyre when I was 11.

KIM said...

it sounds good to me!! i'll keep an eye out for it :)

Ali said...

Perhaps the miniseries you saw was Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke. That one is brilliant - still the best Jane Eyre I have seen! You can get it on BBC DVD, and you get a whole 4 hours of awesomeness.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Yeah we own that one Ali- we started watching it again on the weekend, inspired by the movie.

I think that must be the one I saw as a kid, but when I watched it again when we bought the dvd, I kept waiting for the leaping face bite that so traumatised me.. and it was decidedly less scary than I'd rememebered. Rats.

the miniseries that came out a couple of years ago was good, did you like that one?

Christine said...

i felt the same about the recent adaption of pride and prejudice with Keira Knightley. It was so rushed, they spoke a mile a minute to fit it all into 2 hours (this besides the fact that I can't stand Keira Knightley!).

I'm looking forward to seeing Jane Eyre, thanks for the review.

Drew said...

"who doesn't love windy moors?"

Yep, me too.