Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
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The protagonist Elizabeth Bennett is a witty, sarcastic, somewhat stubborn young lady who really has an opinion about quite a lot including why she would not marry simply because of it is expected of her. Mr. Guy Darcy is a shy, rich, man who defiantly believes there is such a thing as superior birth. Written by
Spirited Modern Interpretation of Austen's Classic Love Story
A "modernised" version of Jane Austen's classic novel that should not be compared unfavourably with 1940 Hollywood Olivier / Garson version nor several BBC serials culminating in the most acclaimed TV series version from 1995 with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle-a personal favourite.
This 2005 film clocks in 127 minutes (UK / Europe)& 135 minutes (USA & Canada) -the extended version allowing audiences to share more of the timeless love story with the main characters -Elizabeth Bennet & Mr Darcy.
Director Joe Wright plus his screenwriters ( Oscar winner Emma Thompson contributed to the final screenplay) have chosen to emphasise Elizabeth Bennet / Mr Darcy plus Jane Bennet/ Mr Bingley story lines & reduce Mr Wickman, Charlotte & Mr Collins to supporting characters.
Austen's famous wit,satire & humour that forms the basis for her enduring appeal (Pride & Prejudice was finally published in 1813 & continues as an annual bestseller)is sidelined to open up this version as more emotional drama for modern audiences.
If you are open to a newer interpretation, can avoid comparisons to the nearly 5 hour 1995 TV version which allowed for greater depth & detail in telling all the characters story lines & accept some of the new film's rushed story lines-you are in for a treat .....
New British star Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet))excels in her first real leading actress role ably supported by fellow Brit Rosamund Pike (Jane Bennet) as the sisters supportive of each other's & their Bennett family problems.Knightley at 20 is the right age for her character,this allows Elizabeth's girlish personality plus her character's pride, misjudgements & loving nature to shine through....
Great star turns from Brenda Blethyn as their mother Mrs Bennet plus Oscar winner Judi Dench as fearsome Lady De Bourgh (Mr Darcy's aunt)add depth to this film version.Claudie Blakley as Elizabeths's wise friend Charlotte Lucas & Simon Wood's amusing Mr Bingley are delightful supporting performers.
One major surprise is Canadian actor Donald Sutherland's touching performance as Mr Bennet -capturing both the humour of living in an all female household & five daughters to look after with the poignancy of seeing his eldest children's difficult relationships develop -easily his best acting performance in years.
In the difficult role of Mr Darcy rising British star Matthew Macfadyen (BBC's Spy series Spooks & Award winning New Zealand film "In My Father's Den" rises to the occasion.With the short running time, there is not enough time to allow Darcy's repressed & prejudiced personality to be fully represented -Macfadyen perfectly displays Darcy's social & class problems, his unfortunate attempts at gaining Eliabeth Bennet's interest & his painful adjustments to achieve their personal love story.Macfayden & Knightley's objectionable first dance,their embarrassingly moving Collins House meeting,the unexpected Pemberley encounter plus their two proposal scenes are highlights of this film.
Engaging acting performances with wondrous film photography,film locations at some of United Kingdom's most famous stately homes, marvellous film sets & costumes plus one of 2005's best original music scores add greatly to this new film version.
All in all one of the better films of 2005 -not perfect film making and not intended to be as subtle as Austen's novel -but a wonderful surprise with some changes to present a modern version of Pride & Prejudice for current audiences -do see this film as & when it is released worldwide....
And after seeing the film or re-visiting 1995 BBC TV series -read the original novel for its classic storyline, memorable characters & Austen's brilliant writing style,wit & humour.....
9 Out Of 10 for this different interpretation of an enduring classic
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