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Charlotte Bronte's classic novel is filmed yet again. The story of the Yorkshire orphan who becomes a governess to a young French girl and finds love with the brooding lord of the manor is given a standard romantic flare, but sparks do not seem to happen between the two leads in this version. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While this is not the worse adaptation it did have its flaws which may keep the Jane Eyre fans cringing. Although shortened, I thought that the editing was reasonable. I didn't mind most the scenes they cut. I did find the updated dialogs annoying at times, because it often obscured the real motivations for the characters actions. I think that the writers of the screenplay were a bit uncomfortable with the religious undertones to Jane's goodness and for her leaving Edward.
Now I think that Ms. Morton did not understand her character at all. She plays the scene where she first learns who Edward is in a very haughty way. She seems to think that Jane is some feminist archetype, bold and sassy...when in reality Jane, because of years of oppression at Lowood knew "her place" yet, was so good, she answered Edward's questions truthfully...even if her answers seemed bold. In a way Jane of the book was like a bird in a cage, it is only after finding that Edward wanted her to truly be free to be herself that she spoke more freely in his presence. He freed her...(not a popular modern outlook but the book was written some time ago). Jane only speaks up as the story progresses because of Edwards goading her, and her own desire to finally have a voice. Miss Morton also make some rather unusual facial expressions, she smiles when she hears she will meet the elusive Mr. Rochester...why?... just got yelled at by the man...why would she smile about the prospect of meeting him?Weird. It is like this "Jane" read the book and knew what was going to happen next.Yikes.
Hind's Rochester at first felt spot on, moody...but then he just started yelling giving it a less than nuanced delivery. I would have fled, if I were Jane, because with all that yelling I would have been afraid of a man like that. I have seen him in the film "Persuasion" and found him wonderful...so perhaps direction was the problem.
Another cloying aspect to this production is the general "lightness" of Thornfield. I guess I prefer a somewhat dark and gloomy place that hints at the horror that burdens Mr. Rochester...but on this note I will say this is a personal preference of mine. Others may find the scenery and set decoration more fitting and proper than previous versions.
Did I hate this production? No. I think it does flow nicely. It has its high point in showing the passion. I also appreciate every telling of my favorite story. I do suggest that if you want to see a dark and mysterious version...try Orson Wells, or a more accurate version try the one with Timothy Dalton.
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