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    Too Much Reality by Maria
  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 25th, 2007

I recently watched for the umpteenth time the BBC version of
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
with Colin Firth (swoon) and Jennifer Ehle. It’s a BBC series I can’t seem to get enough of. – it’s a wonderful
romance filled with misconception, suspense, great language and a happy ending.

I’m not writing a book review; I want to talk about the
various film and television versions of the book. It was first adapted to the screen in 1940
and starred Greer Garson and Sir Laurence Olivier. This version is a classic
black and white film, and the director, Robert Leonard created a madcap romp
through Austin’s
prose. I personally love both actors and was satisfied with this “Hollywood” version, until
the BBC created their television adaptation.

This version has given me many long hours of torment and
pleasure watching Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth dance on the edge of happily ever
after – until the final scene when all my prays are answered.. As I said before, I can’t get enough of it,
and if you haven’t seen it, run to your nearest video store and rent it.

Now we come to the big screen version starring Keira
Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I
wasn’t a big fan of that film. TOO MUCH
REALITY. From the opening scene of Elizabeth walking from the
meadow to her home, we see her bare feet, the dirty, mud soaked edges of her dress,
and a really bad hair do. I’m sure that
was the way it was in the 1800’s, but when it comes to romance – I don’t need
the grit.

During the assembly ball, you can see the sweat stains around the men’s
collars, the women’s dresses are winkled and it’s obvious that there wasn’t
enough ventilation in the hall; in fact most everyone seems in need of a bath,
you can almost smell the scene and it ain’t pretty.

Here’s what –. Miss
Austen does not describe her heroine as barefooted, hair askance, with mud
dripping off her petticoat – no she does not. If it were an adaptation of Dickens who would care – it’s what you’d
expect. Nope – when it comes to Pride and Prejudice, please sir, may I
have some frills?

2 Responses to “Too Much Reality by Maria”

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  1. marisa
    on Jun 25th, 2007
    @ 7:27 am

    Maria, I’m right there with you. I don’t want to see dirt, sweat, and/or grime with my Jane Austen. I don’t want to see the ‘underbelly’ of real life when I watch a production of any of Austen’s works. I like my Austen with a dose of cinematic unreality.

  2. kim
    on Jun 25th, 2007
    @ 8:04 am

    Maria–you make a very good point. While I did like the new version of P&P, nobody wants to see pit stains on her hero. Bleech.

    Can you believe I just found the BBC version of P&P a couple of years ago? Sad, isn’t it? Now it is a favorite and my “comfort” watch. When I’m feeling under the weather I pop Colin in the DVD player and munch on some peanut butter toast. Yumm

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