Pride & Prejudice, 1940

Another version of P&P. 

I really never expected the US to shoot the first P&P movie/drama. I guess the British were pretty angry when the movie came out. Just like how angry the Chinese were when the 2010 version of Dream of the Red Chamber came out. Or maybe less. 😛

The movie changed the time from late 18th century to early 19th century. This caused a problem: clothing. Jane Austin enjoyed a short and rare time when the English ladies didn’t wear framed skirts and bodice. Most of Jane Austin’s ladies wore light dresses and smaller hats which made them much more lively and vigorous. Yet in the movie, women wore bodices, and petticoats under framed dresses. Too exaggerated. Didn’t look like Jane Austin’s work at all!

And the actresses. ALL of them were too pretty! The 5 sisters were good-looking girls but never so beautiful. With such a pretty face a girl would never worry about marriage! The sisters were not that pretty, and not that wealthy, that’s why they need to find a husband ASAP! They really didn’t have a lot to gamble.

↑Pretty girls

And Jane. All Janes were not elegant ladies except for the 1995 BBC version.

Traditionally people think “pride” is referring to Mr. Darcy and “prejudice” is referring to Elizabeth. Because Mr. Darcy do have his pride towards the poor and Lizzy do have her prejudice towards the rich. However, if you think twice, you may find Lizzy’s pride and Mr. Darcy’s prejudice. Jane Austin wrote the book Pride & Prejudice because she thought Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had flaws. They worked hard to overcome their shortcomings in order to be together and learn to appreciate each other. THIS is the nice part about the book! But in this movie, it seem like Lizzy got all the pride & prejudice part(to me it’s not just flaws, I would like to call it “rude” or “bad manners”) and Mr. Darcy was a total nice gentleman, and rich. It was just an ordinary Cinderella story.

↑Lizzy’s pride & prejudice

And it’s because of the above points that I realized the director didn’t really got the connotation of the book. He’s probably just read it through. The movie got no soul of English culture all at. I only saw a bunch of Americans trying hard to speak British accent. 

Lucky that the actresses and dresses were pretty in the movie, or else the movie got nothing good. I wouldn’t be so picky if this movie wasn’t an adaptation of the book. I wish all directors/actors/actresses/scriptwriters/etc who want to put the story onto screen could think twice and read the book at least 100 times before you start to adapt/act. (YES I am especially talking about Joe Wright’s stupid adaptation in 2005.)


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