Pride and Prejudice (1995)
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Pride and Prejudice (1995; G)
Director: Simon Langton
Major Themes: Literary Adaptations, Classics, Romance
Synopsis: An excellent dramatization of the well-known novel from the 1800s.
I first heard about the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice when I was twelve or thirteen. I’ve always loved watching movies, and old classic books have always been intriguing to me, so I was quite eager to watch it. I didn’t get the chance, though, seeing as it is nearly six hours long (!), until just recently when I was able to borrow a DVD. Having read and listened to the original twice, read a retelling, and watched at least one other movie based on the book, I was delighted to finally have my wish granted for this one! And what a great presentation of the book!
One thing that always gets Mom when we watch movies based on books is that they are always bad retellings of the book—the scope of a movie just can’t cover everything, so things must be squished together in order to make them all fit in the two hours most movies take. This movie, however, did a pretty good job. I didn’t have to tell myself too many times to accept it as its own story with a few throwbacks to the book, which I found absolutely lovely! And while I’m sure some points were skipped here and there, I didn’t miss very much.
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s story are quite familiar to many people. Some people just can’t get along with Austen’s works, but I find I enjoy most of them—this one, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion are my favorites, I believe. The despicable Mr. Collins who is far to concerned about his own concerns has to be one of my most favorite sincere but comical characters. I would have loved to see a bit more huff and puff in him here, but he was played well. Of course, Mrs. Bennet is a terrible character, and that came through perfectly here. Mr. Bennet is the calm, sensible fatherly figure, and I absolutely loved his care for his family—even when he was thoroughly annoyed with the lot of them!
This adaptation was a good representation of the original book, I thought. I loved seeing the characters brought to life in a new way without losing their original freshness too much. The ones that are supposed to be annoying in the book were equally so in this story, and I loved seeing how Miss Bingley got her comeuppance near the end. Pride and Prejudice is an altogether satisfying watch, if you enjoy older films, older stories, or period dramas!
WARNING: One thing that occurred throughout the movie was very low necklines. I don’t know if that was the style back in the days when the book was written or not, but that’s the style here, and if you struggle with that, I would not recommend this movie. Also, the Lord’s name is taken in vain frequently (“Lord” is a common expression). There were several variations, but I didn’t appreciate the fact that this was a frequent part of the script. In episode 4, from 3:53 – 3:56, a man is shown holding a partially undressed girl (with implications of a deeper kind). In episode 5, 25:31 – 26:00, a couple elopes and kisses (that is somewhat hidden). There were two instances where an unmarried couple were shown living together before they were married, one quite suggestive, both had him drinking. Both were in episode 5, timestamps 35:37 – 36:40, and 41:59 – 42:25. There is another somewhat suggestive instance in episode 6, from 46:55 – 47:03, shown in a negative light as a minister preaches about sin. Drinking is alluded to several times, and occasionally you see different characters drinking wine throughout the movie. And there is a kiss at the end of the movie, episode 6, 48:22 – the end.
Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults
Keywords: Literary Adaptations, Classics, Romance, 19th Century, Europe, Movies