Thursday, December 12, 2013

Movie: Jane Eyre

My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8

Genre: Period drama, classic, romance

Primary actors: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench

Length: Two hours

Based on: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Time period: 1800s

Rating: PG-13

Year it came out: 2011

My overall opinion: Now THAT is a question. What did I think of this movie? Well, being me, I made
notes as I watched. So here they are. I’m assuming all my readers already know this classic story.

Possible confusion: Starting in the middle of the book (with St. John), then skipping a bit between that and the beginning was vaguely confusing even for me, and I know the book very well. I think that doing the story in order, or possibly just one skip, would’ve been better. For someone who doesn’t know the story at all, this could possibly be very confusing.

The girls: All the girls in this are frightfully plain. I know, it’s simply dreadful of me to judge them all on appearance alone, and their personalities were quite nice, but St. John’s sisters and Jane herself were all very plain girls, not pretty in the least.

The speed: I mention this several times in my notes, things that are flown over. Jane Eyre is a large book of several hundred pages, and needs a movie of some length, a minimum of three hours, I think. A two-hour movie was a bad decision and entirely fails to include a few pivotal scenes, and to really show how deep the friendship between Helen and Jane was.

Mr. Rochester: In a word, “overgrown.” And yes, I’m going purely physical appearance again. That was my impression from the first time I saw him. Having him shave, and regularly, would’ve greatly improved his appearance. At the end, too, he was far too overgrown to be appreciated, so to speak. In general, he wasn’t a very bad Mr. Rochester though, but like I said, the whole movie was rushed and we never got to know him that well.

Jane: Was plain. Not that Jane is supposed to be pretty, though. Considering that she’s the title character, she did a good job with the part. I neither loved nor hated her.

Gore: At one point, a surprising amount of blood was shown, and while that really didn’t bother me all that much, it did seem like a rather surprising amount considering this is a period drama. That may be just me though.

Scene skipped: I wasn’t very happy that they skipped one of the most memorable scenes from prior movies and from the book. Remember when Bertha visits Jane’s room shortly before her near-wedding and tries on her veil? Here, we hardly saw Bertha, except for one scene. But I think that the scene I’ve just described is quite an important and mysterious one in the book, and definitely shouldn’t have been cut. Then too, there’s the fire scene. While it is true that in the book, Jane is told about it after the fact and wasn’t present there, there are often flashbacks in other movies to the scene so that you, the viewer, can fully picture it. Here, Mrs. Fairfax simply told Jane about it. I think this was perhaps a part where they attempted to save money, when spending a little and doing the scene would’ve resulted in a better movie.

The ending: I wrote down that it was slightly abrupt, unexpected, inconclusive, and all-around unsatisfying. I wasn’t very happy with it, I’m afraid. It left a good deal more up to chance than I should have preferred, and came around altogether too fast.

Soundtrack: It was lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to such a beautiful soundtrack for a couple of hours!

So. My overall opinion? It wasn’t really a bad movie. I didn’t love it though, and was a little disappointed. And it was definitely way too rushed to really be one I loved. If you’re a Jane Eyre or a period drama fan, yes, watch it. I’m glad I did. However, I am far from desperate to go out and buy it.


Hamlette said...

I've only seen this once, and agreed with you for the most part, especially about the chopped-off ending. I want to watch it again, though, as some people like it a lot.

Analiese said...

Good review. I think I liked it better than you did :) and would have to say my main fault with it was the length.
Oh, and if you have time, DO comment on the movie review I'm posting later this afternoon. ;)

Rissi said...

I'd have to watch this one again but... as I remember this was my favorite version so far. It was so much "prettier" than the darker versions before it and that seemed to lighten the mood. Jane being plain was perfectly appropriate (and I "get" what you're saying) so that didn't bother me in the least and ironically this is probably the only movie I've seen Mia in that I think she's "good" in.

Glad you didn't mind it! Which version is your favorite?