I finally had the opportunity to watch Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen) last Monday.
Well, it was a holiday and Dylan was sound asleep at an unusually early time (thanks to his workout in the swimming pool!). The VCD was a bit jumpy (thanks to same little boy) and I had to polish it a bit on my jeans. But when I managed to view the film in two stretches from start to finish, I was left marvelling all over again at how well Jane Austen can put a story of human relationship together. Yes, I know... it wasn't her book.. it was a flashy movie garnished with beautifully dramatic characters and glorious scenery... but it was still her story. Knightley gave a pretty good interpretation of Elizabeth Bennet's sense of independence and of course, Macfadyen gave just enough smoulder to his enigmatic and yet vulnerable Mr. Darcy. I'm glad there was no hint of wimp. Too many wimps in today's world...
My favourite book of Jane Austen's genre is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and still remains Jane Eyre but Pride and Prejudice comes a close second. Hobbling behind is Sense and Sensibility. But it needs to be stated that Shakespeare's works have no comparison, as far as I'm concerned. Every time I read his words, new meanings and understandings leap out and I see different colours and shades. Every time. Not many authors have that capability.
Of course the cinema helps a lot... it is amazing how easy it is to teach literature in class if a particular tale has a film counterpart. I was almost afraid to show the BBC version of Macbeth to my class of randy Form Four students...the Lady Macbeth was a bit on the lascivious side. But they seem to have survived the exposure pretty well.
Well, all I can say is... give me more Keira and Matthew!