Coloratura Christian

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

My husband and I saw the new Pride & Prejudice movie last night. My great expectations were not disappointed. The acting was excellent, the scenic shots breathtaking, and the setting seemed even more accurate than the A&E version.

For example, there was real mud and the filthiness of pigs and chickens around the Bennet home. There was also a marked difference in lifestyle between the Bennet's and the upper crust of society, such as Bingley, Darcy, and the De Bourgh's. The Bennet's clothes were plainer, their home more run down, and there was much less decorum to their lives in general.

My one complaint was that some of my favorite dialogue was either cut or watered down, and I wasn't so keen on how Elizabeth Bennet was portrayed. (I guess that's two complaints.)

With the cuts they made in this new version, there was nothing distinctly Christian about the manners, conversation and lifestyle of the main characters. Everything with a direct reference to God or church was cut out, except for the foolish clergyman, Mr Collins. Also, you often did not know the moral struggles behind Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet's decisions and actions. You were left to believe that they merely acted on their impulses, on whatever their 'gut feeling' was.

In the book (and the A&E mini-series) Elizabeth shows great restraint and maturity in her speech and demeanor, so when she says something passionately you feel it's important. You respect her for the farsightedness of her restraint, especially when it would have been so tempting to blab the juicy news.

You also respect her because she is unmoved by the beauty, power, and riches of society's key players. Who she is and what she believes does not change depending on the company she is with. She is not easily manipulated or intimidated, but always acts according to what she believes to be true and right.

The version of Elizabeth Bennet played by Keira Knightly is more impulsive and almost childishly temperamental. Perhaps the directors wanted us to be able to relate to her more. Admiring someone for her moral virtues is probably not as big of a hit with modern movie goers as is seeing someone who is no more excellent than the average person in strength of character, and who finds perfect happiness anyway.

I suppose, to be fair though, I should say that the creators of this movie did do a very good job of getting across the main thrust of the story in only two hours. Some of the characters were more interesting in this version than in the mini-series, especially Mr. Bingley and Jane. Darcy, Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine De Bourgh were exceptional as well.

One of the funniest parts of the movie was the conversation we heard when we were leaving. One girl smiled and said to her boyfriend, "You made it through." To which another guy piped in, "Try watching the six hour mini-series!" This was followed by a series of grunts by various other men.


  • At December 14, 2005, Blogger Son of Man said…

    Awesome critique. Especially the part about the current movie goers bordom with the morally excellent character. We love having our own ideas affirmed screen, don't we?
    good flick though.


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