One of the best selling novels of all time is brought to the big screen in Pride & Prejudice. Starring Keira Knightly, Rosamund Pike, Matthew MacFadyen, Simon Woods, Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn this movie captures the true brilliance behind Jane Austen’s first great novel.
A timeless romance film; this story about love and values revolves around five sisters – Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia Bennett – who have their lives’s turned upside down when the wealthy and handsome Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) and his best friend Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) rent a house in their town for the summer. Having been raised with the goal of finding a suitable husband, love soon finds itself in the air. Jane (Rosamund Pike) is quick to find herself smitten with Mr. Bingley and Lydia with Mr. Wickham (Rupert Friend), while Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) is quick to write-off the cold, quiet and mysterious Mr. Darcy.
However, love is never an easy thing and many trials and tribulations stand in the way of the Bennett sisters and their happiness. Gossip, scandal, unrequited marriage proposals, and class conflict all work towards generating a film that truly captures what 18th century England was like and in many respects, gives audiences a brief look at what life for Jane Austen herself must have been like.
Beautifully directed and well cast, this film’s greatest strength lies in its screenplay or more specifically, it’s dialouge. With a good balance of intelligence and wit, Deborah Moggach does a wonderful job capturing Jane Austen’s truly incredible grasp on the English language and the power it holds when used properly.
While the general adage ‘the film is never as good as the book’ holds true of most book to screen films I have seen, Pride & Prejudice is an exception to the rule. Seeing Jane Austen’s writing conveyed on screen allows her writing and ultimately, her values and thoughts on society, to reach an audience in a way her novel can’t. Those who don’t enjoy reading books can enjoy this film. Those who can’t understand or don’t enjoy reading ‘proper’ English, can enjoy this film. Those who can’t commit numerous hours to reading a book can watch this 2 hour and 13 minute film instead and enjoy it. Austen’s words are now captured on paper and film for all to enjoy.
Watching this film is like going back to a time where Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In didn’t exist. It’s like going back to a time where words like ‘bootylicious’ and ‘narly’ didn’t exist. It’s like going back to a time where LOL, and smiley face emoticons were not a part of everyday language. It’s both exciting and refreshing to watch this film and I recommend that you do, if for no other reason then to learn a thing or two about the English language; its power and its beauty when used properly and in proper context.
Rent this movie, it’s well worth the money.