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[personal profile] apagon
I just saw Jane Eyre (2011) tonight, and it was quite faithful to Charlotte Bronte's book.  The artistry and acting were quite phenomenal in hindsight.  I quite enjoyed the media res chronology that kept up the suspense.  However, what struck me the most in the theater was both the horror and humor that really came across on the screen, in a way that it didn't for me in the novel.  In fact, in a couple of instances, people in the theater had let loose unintentional screams when random characters popped up out of nowhere, cast in shadows and gloomy lighting.  It was that frightening apparently. The tension was palpable, and I believe that only because I knew what was going to happen was I able to laugh at some of the cliches and absurdities of the story (but that may just be me, considering I've always found Jane Eyre alternately melodramatic and neat-and-tidy at turns).  

In addition to the intentional humor of witty banter between Jane and Rochester, what garnered a fair amount of snickering on my part was the Twilight-esque nature of the movie.  This is to be taken with a grain of salt as my knowledge of Twilight only extends to what I gather from friends who have seen or read it.  Rochester has the creepy possessive stalking down to a T.  Just watch the trailer below and you'll see what I mean.  Furthermore, the dark secret in the attic, and the visitor that gets bit in the neck by something or someone... well. Obviously, it's to be expected that a gothic novel would bring to mind  vampire romances, especially when vampire-human relations are the ultimate manifestation of may-september romances--the attraction between 'pure and innocent' and 'dark and dangerous.'

St. John Rivers who is played by Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, The Eagle) was most intriguing in the movie.  I've always read him in the novel as quite one-dimensional, wanting to marry Jane solely for her qualities as a missionary's wife and abilities to serve God.  However, in the movie, he seemed to actually fancy Jane but was simply too emotionally stunted to deal with love and rejection rationally.  Probably due to how Bell plays him with lingering glances and touches, Rivers comes off as interested in Jane.  I mean, when Jane agrees to go to India with him as a sister and not a wife, saying "It would kill me to marry you," Rivers becomes furious, yelling, "Your refusal offends me; your refusal offends God."  Of course, this is after he surmises that Rochester is the reason she refuses his proposal, and he seems to fly  into a jealous rage, ripping her piousness apart for refusing his hand.  For him, it's all or nothing, and somehow it's never rang this way for me before, but it seems taking her to India while she is still in love with another man offends him deeply, not just on a godly level but on a personal level too.

Definitely worth a watch.  Check out the official trailer below.  It really does a good job of amping up the tension.


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June 2011


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