30 Day Book Challenge
Day 19′s Challenge: “Favorite book turned into a movie.”
FINALLY, an easy question! *beams* This is one of those questions that you just look at and know the answer immediately (unlike many on this challenge which make me ponder :/). My choice for today’s challenge is one of the most popular film adaptations of all time: Pride & Prejudice.
In particular, I’m referring to the 1995 BBC miniseries version starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I’ve got to give the screenwriters at BBC a lot of credit; they somehow took what was, to me, a dreadfully boring novel and rammed it up to such a high caliber that it’s one of my favorite films period! I watch the miniseries every spring. For some reason, that feels like just the right time of year to get lost in Austen. Before I saw this version, I read the book; and before I read the book, I had seen the Keira Knightley 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. I like that movie (I even own it), but it doesn’t come close to the miniseries for me. I liked Pride & Prejudice overall, but I couldn’t see what the big fuss was. It seemed overrated and hard to get into – until I saw this adaptation; that’s when I fell in love with the story.
I prefer this version for a few reasons, namely the casting. I like Keira Knightley, but she doesn’t seem like the right type of “Elizabeth” I picture in my head, and Matthew McFadyen is an even farther cry from whom I imagine as Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy – plain and simple. He’s so much Mr. Darcy that he reprises the modern role as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary! Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, being the leads, are obviously preferable casting choices, but my favorites extend even into the side characters.
This verison of Mrs. Bennet seems more neurotic than the 2005 version and, incidentally, reminds me a lot of my own mother (lol, I love you, Mom!). She means well, but she’s so high strung about her schemes and dreams for her daughters that she looks as though she might blow her bonnet off at any minute in some outburst of joy or despair. She is a manic, hilarious character who is in many ways more innocently oblivious of the world than her daughters.
Lydia is absolutely insufferable (in any version, but especially in this one!)! If I were her elder sister, I’d probably punch her in the face. Not the most sisterly thing to do but in this case, Lydia needs some sense smacked into her! I think I could go either way as far as Lydia’s character, but I prefer this Wickham if only for the sole reason that I don’t think “Orlando Bloom” every time I look at Rupert Friend! They’re both handsome men but it’s too much of a mind-messer to watch Keira and Rupert interact, knowing they’re in a relationship, and also knowing that he looks like Orlando Bloom’s doppleganger, thus wondering how THAT worked out while they were filming Pirates! (If I had to pick one, though, I’d go with Rupert, too, Keira.)
I’m not sure if I prefer the 2005 or the 1995 version of Mr. Collins – I think they’re tied for me. In the 1995 version, Collins has this cringe-worthy smile; my friend and I have affectionately dubbed this type of smile the Creepy Collins Smile. Still, the man is very amusing; but then there’s Tom Hollander (also from Pirates!) in the 2005 version, and he steals every scene he’s in, including the “It’s been many years since I’ve had such an exemplary vegetable” and “Through intercourse… *thunder* Forgive me… through THE intercourse of friendship or civility…” scenes.
I like both Bingleys and I think they’re cute in their own ways: 1995 Bingley seems more masculine and therefore I’d probably go with him, but 2005 Bingley has that adorable ginger hair! GAHHH I love his hair so much. I think the characters I most definitely prefer (aside from Elizabeth, Darcy, and Mrs. Bennet) from the 1995 version are Bingley’s sisters.
These two are the Anastasia and Drusilla to Bingley’s Cinderella. There’s absolutely NO way Darcy would ever find Caroline Bingley attractive in this version. In the other version, Caroline Bingley was cast as a slender ginger with a demeanor comparable to Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions. I prefer the silliness of this Caroline Bingley commiserating with her sister about their brother and the audacity of the Bennets to show up at Bingley’s crib.
One other thing I prefer about this film is the abundant use of GREEN. Everywhere you look, in every scene, it’s green, green, green! Green tablecloths, green clothes, green walls, green scenery, green dishes! One of the rare times green does not dominate the scene is if the Bingley sisters are present, which I find remarkably interesting. In their case, as you can see from the picture above, the primary colors are shades of orange. I have no idea what this means, but I know filmmakers are always up to something, so they either got a HUGE deal on green products or there is some symbolism going on there: money? envy? youth? Not sure, but I do know this: Darcy’s green vest is smoking hot.
What do you think about this movie? Is it one of your favorites or does it fail to impress your senses and sensibilities? Share your comments or thoughts below, and thanks for reading!