A young governess falls in love with her mysterious employer, but a terrible secret puts their happiness at risk.A young governess falls in love with her mysterious employer, but a terrible secret puts their happiness at risk.A young governess falls in love with her mysterious employer, but a terrible secret puts their happiness at risk.
A classic becomes a classic for very specific reasons; when film producers start to meddle with a classic's very lifeblood then that classic is destroyed. Thankfully the producers of THIS "Jane Eyre" approached the story with respect and faithfulness towards the original, which results in a spectacularly addictive concoction that is worth viewing multiple times, to enjoy its multi-layers of sweetness and delight and suspense. The performances are delightful, the music is just right, even the Gothic design of the house and outdoor shots are beautiful, and set the right tone for the production.
My only criticism, though slight, is that this version, like every other version ever made of Jane Eyre, ignores the Christian influences that built Jane's character and influenced her moral choices. In today's modern world a woman in Jane's situation wouldn't think twice but to stay with Rochester after finding out he had an insane wife and was still married to her. "Oh, just get a divorce", she would say to her man, or she would live in sin with him. But Jane Eyre knew she couldn't settle for this course in life and respect herself. Why? This decision was based on the foundations of the Christian faith she had been taught since childhood, not from the brutal Calvinist Lowood Institution, but from the Christian example of a true friend, Helen Burns, who was martyred rather than not turn the other cheek. Someday I would like to see some version depict these influences a little more fully in an adaptation. A classic novel that ends with the heroine writing "Even so, come Lord Jesus!" should not have the foundations of that faith stripped out of it.
- May 15, 2003