Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jane Eyre (2011) Review- Bringing Bronte's Beautiful Masterpiece Back To Life

Jane Eyre
Year: 2011
Director: Cary Jogi Fukunaga
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench
In My Own Words
                Honestly, this In My Own Words to accompany my review of Jane Eyre could be just a long list of things which I love about the timeless classic and its author and her sisters.
                I do truly love the novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and have ever since I studied it at school. Actually, I lie. Reading it for the first time in school comes with the stigma of a book seeming boring and dorky to like, even if it isn’t and you do. Yet, the story of Jane Eyre stayed with me.
                These days I am very open about the fact that I am slightly Bronte obsessed. One of the things I love about Jane Eyre is how haunting the story is with the mystery surrounding Thornfield. It is almost like a ghost story in a romantic tragedy. And of course, I love the style of writing, the imagery of the English countryside and the characters. I guess every girl loves the heroic male characters in Bronte novels and the novels by another well known British female author by the name of Jane Austen. It is impossible for girls who love these novels not to look for men with the same qualities as characters like Mr Rochester, Heathcliff or Mr Darcy!
                I am quite excited to announce that in February I will be visiting the village of Haworth which was once the home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte. Haworth is located in West Yorkshire in England and is filled with reminders that these three talented sisters were once residents in this charming town. I am especially looking forward to visiting the Bronte Parsonage and Bronte Birthplace.
                However, the exciting news for this point in time in relation to the Bronte sisters is that I was very excited about the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre being released and, unlike others films I have really been looking forward to this year, the film has completely lived up to my expectations. Of course, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but Bronte enthusiasts like me won’t be disappointed.
These are my own words and here is my review.
                The classic novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has seen over twenty movies made in honour of it, and the latest has done nothing but show it complete justice.
                Cary Jogi Fukunaga has done a wonderful job at bringing the novel back to life in his 2011 film adaptation. The attention to detail is exquisite and his direction and choice of cast is superb. Of course, if you are not a big fan of period pieces, then Jane Eyre won’t do anything for you. Yet lovers of great direction, cinematography and Bronte enthusiasts will be in heaven.
                Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikovska) was orphaned at an early age and sent to live with her aunt by marriage (Sally Hawkins). Her aunt casts her out and Jane never knows a true home until she is sent to the country manor of Thornfield to be the governess for Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Jane is no stranger to being the outsider in the world of high society so she is then unsure how to behave when she becomes the object of Mr Rochester’s affection and he also of hers. Only then does she discover the terrible secret behind the beauty of Thornfield.
                Jane Eyre is absolutely stunning to watch. From the beginning sequence of Jane running from Thornfield where you see some beautiful landscape shots of an approaching storm right up until the very end, you can only marvel at the amazing techniques used to bring so much natural beauty to the screen. You can feel the cold of the winter in the English countryside and the warmth of the Spring.
                The script stays true to Charlotte Bronte’s creation and the language used can only be described as beautiful. The film does add a bit of differentially to it by bringing in the use of flashbacks rather than flowing directly from Jane’s childhood through to her discovery at Thornfield. It jumps back and forwards quite a bit in the first half an hour which makes things a tad confusing to those who have not read the book, and even those who have.
                People will complain that the film is sometimes slow and that there should be more suspense. However, that was never what Jane Eyre was about. Jane Eyre is a classic piece which is an age old love story and it takes it’s time so the consumer (whether they be reader or film viewer) can take in the language and imagery or images in the case of the movie.
                What makes Jane Eyre really come to life are the performances. Mia Wasikowska was the perfect choice for Jane Eyre. Her performance is so subtle and the role just comes naturally for her. She glides through the role with ease and makes Jane into the likable heroine that she is. We feel her pain and sorrow, but admire her strength and respect for herself.
                Michael Fassbender is brilliant in the role of the mysterious Mr Rochester. There is one scene in the film where he is absolutely breath taking in his delivery of his dialogue. His development of his character throughout the film is also very well done as it goes from him being very reserved, guarded and almost cocky to him being a gentleman who lies all his emotions down for the woman he loves.
                Judi Dench is very good as Mrs Fairfax and special mention must be paid to little Romy Settbon Moore whom Jane is governess too. Sally Hawkins is most definitely a little too “nice” as Jane’s aunt, Mrs Reed whom is supposed to be cold hearted and deceitful.
                Jane Eyre proves that even though so many films have been made to honour the novel, there is always something new you can bring to the plate with an adaptation which differentiates it from the others. As warned, probably not one for people who are not fans of classic novels or period piece movies. However, if you do not mind either in any way, shape or form, this is a real piece of beauty.

1 comment:

  1. If you think the novel was well written, you're wrong. There are proper literature greats and Jane Erye isn't one of them.