Monday, May 14, 2012

Pride & Prejudice - BBC series vs. Hollywood movie

Pretty much every spring I get a yearning for the British Isles. I don't really know what's causing it. Maybe the weather.
This spring I decided to fight it with Pride and Prejudice.
Some time ago I got the BBC series from 1995 on DVD but I hadn't watched it yet. And after that I watched the movie from 2005.

I do like the TV series and of course it can explore the characters better. In the Hollywood movie it all seems so rushed. Darcy never seemed to dislike Lizzy at all.

As for the casting, I like the main actors in both the series and the movie.
Keira Knightley's Elizabeth is more lively. I can see more of her friendship with Charlotte. But I also like Jennifer Ehle, maybe even a little better.
I might like the looks of Matthew Macfadyen a little better, but Colin Firth is great, too.
Mr. Bennet is amazing in both - almost steals the show.

But there are a few differences. Mrs. Bennett for example: she's much too overacted in the TV series. No one could stand living with a woman like this. The movie tones it down a bit, while still keeping her characteristics obvious.
Mr. Bingley is a bit very clumsy in the Hollywood version. And what the hell is up with that hair?
Rupert Friend as Mr. Wickam in the movie is a better cast in my opinion, too - who wouldn't be swept away by those looks? (Is it just me or does he look a lot like Orlando Bloom?)
I like Colonel Fitzwilliam in the Hollywood version a little better. And of course there's Judi Dench as Lady Catherine de Bourg.
But the biggest difference, and one I hard a hard time dealing with during watching, is Jane Bennet. She's supposed to be really, really pretty, everyone mentions it all the time. What drove the people responsible for the BBC cast? I don't want to be insulting, but... I just don't understand that.

One thing I find amazing about the Hollywood movie is the cinematography. I don't know why this wasn't awarded or even nominated. The landscape. The lighting especially is amazing. I was in awe in some many scenes, it's just so beautiful.
If there's a movie that makes you want to visit Britain, it's this one.

So, it looks like the movie wins by points.
But I really couldn't say "watch this" or "watch that" - so I say "watch both".

Fun fact: I've been compared to Elizabeth Bennet in the past.
I do think it fits, partly. I am intelligent and I might be proud of my "wits". I also get upset and embarrassed by the stupidity and bad manners of others. I like to think I have nice eyes, too. But I certainly don't fit the "lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous" part and neither is my figure very light, I'm afraid.

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