Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Kiera Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen,
Judi Dench, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland
RunTime: 2 hrs 7 mins
Released By: UIP
Date: 8 December 2005
during the class conscious 18th Century, Pride and Prejudice
is based on Jane Austen’s classic tale of love and the
ironies among the English gentility. News of the arrival of
two distinguished gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy reaches
the Bennet family whose two eldest daughters Jane and Elizabeth
are eligible for marriage. Jane is immediately taken with
Bingley but Elizabeth finds the proud Mr. Darcy very disagreeable.
She later discovers that there’s more to the seemingly
arrogant Darcy than first meets the eye.
Whoever said literature is boring should watch the film adaptation
of Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice. An 18th
century love story filled with desperate, spunky and taciturn
characters, it will charm with its depiction of the period.
It has been ten years since the television series of the book
ran on BBC. The series is also known for making Colin Firth
THE very Mr. Darcy described in the books.
is much weight on the shoulders of the film. Matthew MacFadyen
has a task similar to Christian Bale and Daniel Craig; stepping
into the shoes of a character already made famous by other
actors. Keira Knightley brings a different charm to Elizabeth
Bennet and Joe Wright, in his directorial debut tackles a
beloved literary classic.
may for ever tarry,” the last line of Robert Herrick’s
poem, To the Virgins to Make Much of Time, quite simply describes
the attitude towards marriage in 18th century England. As
written in the book, there also existed the idea of a man
of fortune would want a wife for himself. This made romance
false and marriage more like a business having mothers like
Mrs. Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) around. She wants to see her
five daughters being married off to men of wealth who can
support each one. But of course there are fears that they
will not marry. In trying to marry them off in order from
the eldest, she provides much comic relief with her over-the-top
antics and complaints about her nerves.
wealthy gentleman, Mr. Bingley arrives in town, Mrs. Bennet
wastes no time in getting eldest daughter, Jane (Rosamund
Pike), acquainted with him. The whole family attends a dance
graced by Mr. Bingley who has brought a friend, Mr. Darcy.
While Jane and Mr. Bingley hit it off immediately, one can
sense the animosity between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. It did
not help that Elizabeth herself overheard Mr. Darcy lamenting
that she was not handsome enough to tempt him.
had any feelings for each other, they must have been clandestine.
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have chance meetings as the story
progresses but most of them end with one walking out of the
other. To add to the complications, two potential suitors
emerge in Elizabeth’s life. While one proposed to her,
the other brought much trouble in the form of Officer Wickham
who felt was cheated by Mr. Darcy of an enormous fortune.
This made things worse considering she had already felt Mr.
Darcy had sent Mr. Bingley back to London to the latter from
and Mr. Darcy eventually dance after her initial request at
the first dance was turned down. While they appear cold towards
each other, they are caught in their own world as they converse
while dancing. Somehow, in a magical moment, everyone else
disappears, leaving the two of them. This, if any, justified
their feelings for each other, though not being able to see
Misunderstandings and arguments are part and parcel of love.
Fearing that he will eventually lose Elizabeth if he does
not open up to her, he chases Elizabeth as she walks away
in the rain. In this memorable scene, Mr. Darcy appearing
to be the more vulnerable one, lets his guard down and professes
his love for Elizabeth. But with every love story, things
are never that simple.
of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is such a pleasure to watch. If
any, they truly epitomize the adage that opposites attract.
Keira Knightley has found the role that will define her career.
As Elizabeth Bennet, she makes this film the most modern adaptation
of Jane Austen’s works to date. Her semi-tomboyish and
spunky nature sets her apart from her other sisters and this
is also noted by her father, Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland)
in the book. Matthew MacFadyen, undoubtedly is the new Mr.
Darcy. Quiet and brooding, he explains that he is not the
type to talk to new people. But when he reveals his true nature
to Elizabeth, one must admit that there is much warmth afterall
beneath the freezing exterior.
of the cast complements the film. The sisters are all excellently
casted although Kitty and Lydia might appear irritating. Donald
Sutherland’s portrayal of the amused Mr. Bennet must
be singled out. In a scene with Elizabeth who reveals about
Mr. Darcy’s true nature, Mr. Bennet will remind one
of Sutherland’s character from the Academy Award winning
and Prejudice might be a dark horse at the Oscars race. Still,
if its any consolation, awards galore are bound to rain on
the film come Golden Globes season. Flaws are far and few
in this film, Joe Wright should thank his lucky stars.
and Prejudice does not deal with puppy love. It is about romance
between two people who never realized they were born made
for each other. Jane Austen’s book is a fantastic read
but the film is a brilliant campaigner for romance. If you
want to know what love is truly about, bring some tissue and
a partner, watch Pride and Prejudice and leave feeling how
blessed it is to love.
(A romance that will resonate for more centuries to come!)
by Mohamad Shaifulbahri