Friday, April 13, 2007

Becoming Jane

Posted by lea at 11:59 PM
It's ironic that for a woman who wrote stories with such sparkling wit and humour, her own was delivered so flat and devoid of charm. The relationship development between the Jane Austen and Thomas Lefroy was unconvincing, the climax abrupt and the ending dissatisfying. My friend Patricia, who watched it with me, poked me at one point thinking that I was asleep. But I wasn't... exactly. A bit bored but not comatose.

Perhaps I expected more because I am an unabashed and avid Austen fan, and had hoped that her story would be told with her characteristic humour and insightful social commentary. Instead I found it a bit stifling. The characters were one-dimensional, and the sometimes witty conversations weren't carried out throughout the script. The pacing of the story was a bit choppy. There was no actual turning point when you realise the two protagonists, who were continually butting heads, are finally in love. It comes as a rude shock... 'when did that happen?'

The plot was very limited because I understand that they can't change history (no happy ending for our Jane), but the way they interpreted this particular (assumed) event in her life made both her and Lefroy appear weak. As such, it was very difficult to become emotionally involved in their lives. And although I have no objection to Anne Hathaway (who could?), I didn't think she suited the role. Her natural impetuous charm was muted and it seemed that she was trying too hard to play a repressed English woman trying to get free. LeFroy, who apparently was the basis for the Darcy character, was great in the first part, but towards the end you don't know whether to hate him or feel sorry for him.

Overall, I wouldn't recomend the movie to anyone but the most hardcore Austenites, who might, like the woman next to me who (to my amazement) was sniffling and crying throughout the movie, find some point of connection and look more kindly on it than I.

Rating: 5.5/10
Doesn't accomplish what it set out to do, which was to give Jane Austen's life a touch of her own treatment. I guess noone can do it like her.


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