Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Last night I went with an old friend to see a movie. It's what we do. She had already seen this movie, and spoke quite highly about it, so I was quite eager to see, regardless of my less-than-affectionate feelings for the Bronte sisters.
It was, in fact, quite good.
As has been mentioned before, on numerous occasions, I don't do well with suspense. I get so involved in the story, that any suspense just destroys my nerves, so I was a little hesitant to watch this movie because of the genre classification. Often, the Bronte's works are classified as Gothic romance, so there was some level of mystery attached to the story, I mean, come on, it's Jane EYRE. There is a creepy, insane woman who walks around late at night, setting fire to things and screaming. So, there was some suspense as we watch Jane unfolding the mysteries around Mr. Rochester and Thornfield Hall. And it's sad. Any book that depicts early 19th century education for orphans always makes me very sad. Life is so dreary and depressing and the teachers are basically of the devil. No wonder no one likes teachers, because for almost as long as there has been literature, teachers have been vilified. Lastly, it wouldn't be complete (or a Bronte novel) without the dark, brooding Bryonic hero.
Mostly, I just get fed up with the heroes. Mr. Rochester is grumpy, mean and mysterious and yet, he still manages to make Jane fall in love with him. What the heck, right? If you met him in real life, the chances of him being this über romantic figure would be much, much less. No one actually likes being around people like him, they just like reading about him. It's OK that he is a jerk to every other character in the story,just as long as you don't have to ever talk to him.
The same goes for a whole host of characters: Edward (Twilight or really, any modern-day paranormal YA romance...all of the protagonists are dark, depressed or depressing, and mysterious...but that will have to keep for another blog post), Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights), to some extent Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). [[Trust me, I can make a good argument for Mr. Darcy.]]
I was quite impressed, however, with Jane and the actress, Mia Wasikowska, that played her. Even though Jane hasn't got much, she still had an inner-strength that was extraordinary and Mia portrayed it subtly and effectively. She wasn't faint-prone or annoying. She simply stated things as they were and dreamt of better things. Yes, I was very impressed with her.
I think I would like to read the book again, just to give the Bronte's another chance.
Have any of you seen the movie or other versions? What do you think, either of the book or movie?