Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Jane Eyre Movie

Ten reasons why you should consider seeing the Jane Eyre movie adaptation:

1. They stayed close to the story line.  That in itself is phenonmenal since Hollywood usually tends to go for what sells the best (& compromises the original work).

2. The parts they chose to omit were well-chosen/minor.  I don't think this is too spoilery for me to say, but they don't have St. John acknowledge being Jane's cousin.  (Side note: I thought that was pretty funny considering it's a book about convention and the screenwriter also had to follow convention in society today. Which is anti-incest, of course).

3. The acting was absolutely wonderful.  I took two of my friends to see it with me (though both of them hadn't read Jane Eyre before), and yet the one thing we all agreed on was what a great job the actors did.

4. The writing was still poetic.  My friends were like... "Uh, why are they all talking like that?"  Because it's Jane Eyre and the writing is beautiful.

5. It evoked emotional responses from me.  You know a movie's done a good job when it makes your skin crawl with bumps, your eyes watery with tears, etc.  In some ways, I'd say the movie made me feel more than the book (but I think that's just because the book is pretty long).

6. The setting.  Holy shit.  Can I go to Thornfield now?

7. Accurate representation of the times.  Since Jane Eyre focuses a lot on convention, it was a good choice of the movie makers to emphasize the class differences, and particularly Miss Ingram's attitudes.

8. It made me sympathize more with Jane.  When I first read the book back in 10th grade, I loved the romance and the subsequent independence Jane gains. Yet, over the years I realized that Rochester was pretty much a jerk to her (and kind of unworthy).  The movie accentuated this, plus Jane's own trials.  Maybe it was easier to blame him in the movie since we don't get Jane's little justifications of Rochester's behavior.  Nonetheless, I'd say a movie that affects you so much that you reconsider your opinion of the book is a pretty well done adaptation.

9. The romantic tension.  The movie makers made the romantic tension seem so much more alive... In the book, there was so much space to explore what happens between Jane and Rochester, but the movie had limited time.  Yet they did a great job with it.

10. The costumes, the accents, etc. etc.  If I was an actual film reviewer, maybe I could make some more technical comments, but as a book reviewer, I'd just say that the costumes and accents and whatnot were done really well/in the way I had imagined them to be in the book.  St. John and his sideburns and Diana/Mary/Jane with their hair parting down the side and the fluffy dresses and breeches.  I almost laughed aloud when I saw Jane's cousin's (John Reed's) costume.  Perfect.

I kind of wished it was a little bit longer though.  The ending was a bit brief, and I'm a sucker for romance so I wouldn't have minded them including another scene.

And actually... If you had to classify Jane Eyre today, would it belong under YA?  It talks about Jane's early life and she does meet Rochester when she's still young... I believe they mentioned her only being nineteen (I can't quite remember all the details from the book).  Does that qualify it?  Or is eighteen the limit for the YA genre?  Or does Jane Eyre deal with issues too complicated to be sold as YA?  Or is it sacrilege to even think about this :D?  You tell me :).

Happy Saturday everybody :)!

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