Pride and Prejudice: A Film Review Essay

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Upon being assigned to write a film review for Joe Wright’s 2005 instant classic Pride and Prejudice, for a “Writing by Women” course my pulse quickened and my pupils dilated. This physiological reaction to the task before me was not founded in the same excitement that had the dozen or so young women in my class squealing and clapping with giddy approval. Rather it stemmed from a much more primal instinct—FEAR! A fear that was quickly confirmed; for, while my amygdila was still wrestling with indecision between fight or flight my fellow students had one by one shot their murderous glances, each like a pair of warning shots fired over my bow. I was under attack! My foe, the not-to-be-crossed cult-like Austen fan club sitting across…show more content…
I found the film to be a surprisingly reasonable adaptation of Austen’s novel. Especially when one considers that, this latest film is only two hours long! Joe Wright, the producer and Deborah Moggach, the writer have done what the makers of the six hour long BBC made-for-TV three part mini-series failed to do—that is to make this epic-length classic accessible to the ‘now’ generation. Perhaps this is due to their three year preparation and deep consideration for Austen’s novel. After all, as Paul Webster (one of the film’s three directors) says of the novel, “it is arguably, the original romantic comedy” (italics mine). Without mentioning Webster’s lack of literary knowledge, (I am fairly certain that Shakespear’s Much Ado About Nothing came first), the book is without a doubt a classic and thus, should be treated as such. Wright and Moggach’s meticulous attention to the history, dress and geography of the Regency Period have definitely paid off. The viewer is easily transported back in time as the camera pans the lush English landscape and opulent interiors of some of Britain’s most majestic manors. In fact, Wright’s choice of Chatsworth, the country home of the Duchess of Devonshire, for the exterior shots of Pemberly (Mr. Darcy’s estate) was based off Austen’s own mention of it in the book and the widely held opinion that Austen was thinking of it when describing Pemberly. The decision to bring Austen out in
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