Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pride and Prozac

I've finally been induced to see this new movie version of Pride and Prejudice, despite my conviction that the BBC one with Colin Firth will never be improved upon. And it was as I feared, chocolate box romance and jigsaw puzzle prettiness. The Janeites I went with adored it nevertheless, but I have a hard centre. Keira Knightley, as beautiful and witty as she is, was entirely wrong for the part. And I wish someone would tell her that crinkling her nose by raising her upper lip in a rictus is not cute in an adult. Still, I could have put up with her if it had not been for the leaden presence of Mr Darcy, played by Matthew MacFadyen, whose emotions run the gamut from clinical depression to glum. This guy would be hard put to find a girlfriend on Guardian Soulmates, never mind the vivacious Elizabeth Bennet.

Every scene is lit, framed and posed in a manner that reminds you of some kitsch painting or other. Even the "earthier" sequences involving pigs, etc, look as if they could have been inspired by a placemat. Rather wasted in this setting is an exquisitely cringe-making performance by Tom Hollander as a very creepy Mr Collins.

Tonight's ominous and creepy episode 2 of Lost 2 was a perfect antidote. Shan't reveal a single thing, except to say, forget getting any closer to fathoming it all. I don't think JJ Abrams remembers what it was supposed to be about any more. This feeling of clinging on to a runaway series is at the heart of its appeal.


Blogger the Beep said...

Don't agree with you about P&P. Although the necessary cuts to 90 minutes were painful. I hated Donald Sutherland until near the end when he was a bit better. But MM and KN were acceptable. KN better than Jennifer Ehle at any rate.
But much of the humour of the Bennetts was lost in the editing. And the US ending is AWFUL! Hope you didn't get that.

1:04 AM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

No, we got the English version. But the production values are so skewed towards US sentimentalism that I was frankly bored and more than a little irritated.

It wasn't the editing that was the problem, it was the kitsch set design, direction and photography. To each his own.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Pashmina said...

I loathe MacFadyen and La Knightley in almost equal measure, which has prevented me from seeing this film. However if I had done, I like to think I'd have said much the same as you Dave, so thanks for confirming all my (no pun intended) prejudices.

As a matter of fact, Tom Hollander's is the one performance I'd like to have seen - a stroke of casting genius.

10:29 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

Ta Pash. A relief to know I'm not alone in this. The critics -- I read a horde of them -- all gave it a pretty unqualified rave. The Americans were the target audience and I understand why the US scribes would have fallen for it. But even the Brit crits in the qualities were enthusiastic. Maybe they felt they should support a good export product.

9:58 PM  

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