So, I watched this over a period of three weeks, which is not at all ideal. I finished the last twenty minutes tonight, and I'm so glad I made a few tiny notes here and there, or I'd have to watch the whole thing over to review it properly. Not that I'd mind, but I don't really have the time right now. Obviously, or I'd have watched the whole thing in one swoop the first time, right?
I've been having a bit of a Spring Fling with Ciaran Hinds, in case you haven't noticed that he's popped up several times lately. I'm also crushing on Ewan McGregor again, and you'll see him mentioned a lot in the next few weeks too, I'm sure. But anyway, ever since I watched Persuasion a couple months ago, I've been eager to see Ciaran Hinds play Mr. Rochester. But I've also read a ton of reviews of this version that said it was terrible. So I approached it kind of apprehensively, fearful that it would butcher my favorite story, and that I'd be disappointed in both Ciaran and the movie.
I needn't have worried.
I'm not saying I love it, mind you -- I think I like it about as well as the 2011 version. Which means that the 1983 is still my favorite. But this has a lot of good qualities. (EDIT: After thinking about it while falling asleep last night, I've decided I like this one better than the 2011.)
First off, it trims down the first section of the book into a couple of short scenes that show us that young Jane is imaginative, starved for love, intelligent, and possessing a keen sense of right and wrong. Second, it also trims the third section where Jane is off living with the Riverses -- it even goes so far as to cut one of the Rivers sisters out, and totally removes the facts that Jane is their cousin and that she inherits money from their mutual uncle. But I'm okay with that, because all those cuts means there is more time to focus on the whole point of this story: the relationship between Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester.
|Awww, so happy together!|
Oh, but I didn't mention that he sings! Yes, yes, he does! Go here to hear him. Since Ciaran sang his own stuff in The Phantom of the Opera (2004), I'm fairly sure he does here too.
|For this Mr. Rochester, every day is a bad hair day.|
|Rochester looks positively batty here, but Jane looks lovely.|
Now, I need to note that this screenplay does not adhere to the dialog from the book. It paraphrases. It rephrases. It uses bits here and there when they work for these portrayals, and throws out what doesn't. I think my favorite example of this is when Jane refuses to live a lie with Rochester. She says, "You are a married man." He shouts back, "But I'm still ME!" (This Rochester shouts a lot. A lot.) Her words are pretty close to the book, his aren't even remotely. But they work ever so well. For me, that is :-)
So anyway, I guess the one thing I really didn't like about this version is that they totally cut out the idea of religion. Any time she brought up morality, he dismissed it as "Brocklehurst claptrap." Jane was left, then, with only her instincts to guide her actions, much less defend her against Rochester's request that she live with him as his pretend wife once the wedding option is out. This made her seem contrary and a little bit mean, which is all wrong.
Okay, so... there are no good screencaps on the internet from this. None. And I watched it on YouTube, so yeah... I have no even decent screencaps from it either. Sorry! I did find this one picture that gives you a good idea of the sorts of clothes they wear. Rochester generally looks wealthy and manly, and Jane wears a lot of plain grey dresses.
Is this version family-friendly? Pretty much. There's one suggestive moment involving Bertha, and Jane tells Rochester she will not share his bed, which is a bit more direct than some versions get. So it's not 100% squeaky clean.
|I kind of thought their first kid was a boy, but it doesn't really matter. Happy ending!|