Release Date: November 11th, 2005 by Focus Features.
The Cast: Keira Knightley, Maththew Macfadyen, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Claudie Blakley, Sylvester Morand, Kelly Reilly, Simon Woods and Judi Dench.
Directed by Joe Wright.
BASIC PREMISE: When Mr.Darcy (MacFadyen) and Mr.Bingley (Woods) arrive in town, the five Bennet daughters, Jane (Pike),Elizabeth (Knightley), Mary (Riley), Kitty (Mulligan), and Lydia (Malone), compete for marriage to save their family’s future financial troubles and reputation. Based on the novel by Jane Austen.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Keira Knightley continues to amaze with her subtle charms and genuine beauty as Elizabeth Bennet. She sinks right into her role and shines in every one of her scenes. For those unfamiliar with the novel or the earlier film adaptations, the plot is accessible and very lively without any scenes that drag—despite a running time of over two hours. From the beginning, it’s clear that marriage is the only thing that will save the Bennet family from losing their house to Mr.Collins if Mr.Bennet were to die. Mrs.Bennet (Blethyn) does anything she can to show off her daughters to Mr.Darcy and Mr.Bingley and to hide their poverty. All she cares about is their marriage, without caring about their happiness for even a second. An awkward but somewhat comical scene is she just serves an extra large bowl of potatoes for a special dinner. Donald Sutherland gives a very convincing performance as her husband, who’s much warmer and understanding than she is. At first, Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth show hatred toward one another while she confides with Mr.Wickham (Friend), a friendly and handsome soldier. However, it’s interesting to watch she and Mr.Darcy gradually fall in love in surprising ways. Judi Dench, mesmerizing as always, plays Lady Catherine de Bourg, Mr.Darcy’s stern aunt, who exchanges plenty of harsh words with Elizabeth. With wonderfully realistic set designs, beautifully-made costumes, along with a well-shot dance number, Pride and Prejudice constantly amazes and, above all, it hooks you into a world that appears on the surface to be different from our own—especially given the more sophisticated way that the characters express themselves.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Beneath the surface, Pride and Prejudice shares a few themes from society today. First, there’s the importance of marriage, which is still considered a social norm. Both men and women today marry for many reasons beyond love such as safety and security. The problem is that, later in the marriage, they realize that they got married for all the wrong reasons and end up filing a divorce. The importance of social reputation can be easily observed almost everywhere you go today, especially in the way people dress and behave so that they don’t ruin their reputation. It’s essential to look beyond these superficialities in order not to prejudge anyone’s real personality. Unfortunately, people these days are often too quick to judge others based on superficialities alone, which can be very deceptive and completely misguiding.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: A lively, very accessible, and thoroughly engaging adaptation with beautiful set and costume designs along with a terrific ensemble cast. Keira Knightley never ceases to amaze!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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