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Pride and Prejudice

Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008 in Classics, Historic, Movies, Reviews

I’ve already seen Pride and Prejudice, at least once in some version or other, but that doesn’t matter. I love Jane Austen’s books (most of them anyway), but now I’m talking about the movie. One version was a tv series, but like I mentioned before, in whatever form, I love them. I’m not sure about a comics version, but who knows? Some Japanese comics can be really good and so are the French/Belgian ones.

In any case, the actors (Donald Sutherland, Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen) did a great job. The funny thing is, I’d already seen McFadyen in a tv series, and I didn’t like him there at all. In the movie, he was a lot better.

The plot can be summed up in a few words, even if there is much more underneath, so it’s not the basic plot that is so fantastic, it has to be the way it’s done. Jane Austen was brilliant in her deceptive simplicity.

You might want to consider how people lived in those days. For families in this social class (not nearly as wealthy as you might think) finding suitable husbands for their daughters was vital. At the same time, a woman’s life was sadly limited.

Jane Austen herself, who was a published writer, lived more or less on sufferance. When some domestic chore perceived as more important, was to be done, poor Jane had to pack up her writer’s stuff and move.

That reminds me of our own Selma Lagerlof. Once, right after she won the Nobel Prize in Literature, she was invited to some house in her home province. She assumed she was the guest of honor, because of winning that prize. When it was time to sit down at the table, she entered the room first. Her hostess was quick to reprimand her. “Wives first, Selma, dear.” Apparently, we hadn’t progressed any further in the hundred years or so that had had passed since Jane Austen’s time. Just a little food for thought.

One interesting detail about the movie is that there were two different endings shot. One for the America audience and the other for Europe.

In the American version there was something sentimental and the one we got to see here, in Europe, was quite fun. Watch the movie if you like historic chic lit. If not, don’t.

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