Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monday Movie Musings - Pride and Prejudice

I love Pride and Prejudice.

I read the book for the first time in junior high, which was, sadly, a bit too young for me to read it. I lost so much of the subtlety and humor; when I re-read it years later I was shocked at how much I laughed. But even back then there was something there that captivated me, something that was strong enough to bring me back for a second try.

Around that same time frame I vaguely remember watching the Olivier version of P & P. I know now that it's not a particularly faithful representation of the book, and the costumes are sadly inappropriate for the time period, but Greer Garson is adorable.

Years later, I saw the BBC six-hour miniseries, and fell hard for it - the casting, the directing, the script, the performances, everything. And, of course, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. He owns my Pride and Prejudice heart.

So when I heard there was going to be another version, starring Keira Knightley, I was skeptical. With as much love as I had for the 1995 version, could I even give the 2005 theatrical-release-length version a fighting chance?

Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed that version, too. I thought there were some lovely moments, particularly the one where Mr. Darcy hands Lizzie into the carriage and then walks away, flexing his hand, as if the sensation of touching her was too much. Small moments like that totally make or break films for me.

There are other versions as well, each with their ardent fans. So my question to you is - what's YOUR favorite version? Who do you think played the parts best, and who missed the mark?

And for a final treat, here's a video featuring five of the different versions, including the Bollywood film Bride and Prejudice. It's not on YouTube, so here's a link. Enjoy!


Maia Strong said...

I think the 1995 version will go down in history as the most-loved by the most women. Ah, Colin Firth! I haven't watched it in years. I all my spare time. ;-S

I <3 "Bride & Prejudice"! But you didn't mention my fave take (not a version, but more like a riff on the story) on P&P: "Lost in Austen". It's ridiculous and wonderful, IMO. It's a little "Being John Malkovitch", a little "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", and I love it.

Kate Davies said...

Oh, I'm a Firth faithful, right down the line. But I'm bendy enough to like other versions for what they are. :)

And yeah, I thought about putting in mention of "Lost In Austen", but figured that would probably end up leading to others, and by then the post would be seventeen pages long. LOL