January 28th marks the 200th anniversary of the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Anyone who really knows me knows that this is one of my faviorate books and it is one of the things that truly ignited my love of the romance story. In homage to one of my favorite stories of all time I am reviewing my three standard Pride and Prejudice movies. Although there are many movie and TV renditions of this story these are my favorites and the ones closest to my heart.
Pride and Prejudice is the most famous of Jane Austin's work and was first published two hundred years ago. It follows Elizabeth Bennet the second of five daughters of Thomas and Fanny Bennet, as she navigates her relationships with Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bennet is the a gentleman who lives in a small town in Hartforshire, England. His daughters are know as the local beauties of the area. When a rich, eligible gentleman, Mr. Bingly comes into the area, he brings along his best friend Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy finds himself drawn to Elizabeth Bennet but makes the mistake of getting on her bad side, both by calling her barely "tolerable" and separating Mr. Bingley from her older sister, Jane. Throughout troubles and tribulations Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet discover their loves for each other.
Pride and Prejudice: BBC production (1995)
When I think of the ultimate Pride and Prejudice movie, I think of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice staring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. This is the movie that catapulted Colin Firth into the role of male dreamboat. Even though it has been almost twenty years since this version had been made, it is still the one I chose and go back to when describing the true nuances of the story and because of the five hour running time, it has the time to really take its time.
When I watch this version of the movie, I think about college and my girlfriends. We used to get together for romance movie night and we ultimately always ended up putting this version in at the end of the night. Usually breaking up the two half into different nights. So not only do I get to fall into the joys of this classic romance novel, I get to remember the joys of having good girlfriends who will always be there for you. Something that Elizabeth Bennet knows enough.
Pride and Prejudice: (2005)
This version of Pride and Prejudice starts Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. This is a more reasonable length movie and can be watched without giving up a whole day. I was surprised when this movie came out that I liked it, as I was not sure how Kiera Nightly would be as Elizabeth Bennet, but I was pleasantly surprised by her portrayal and this was rewarded by her nomination for an Academy Award. This version is pretty straightforward in story and sticks only to the main plot points. Somethings are mushed together but overall it captures the reluctant tension and then surrendered of the tension between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I stop this movie before the last scene as it seriously irritates me. If only this movie ended with the double wedding of Elizabeth and Jane to Darcy and Bingly would it be one of my favorite movies of all time.
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
Bride and Prejudice is a Bollywood inspired version of Pride and Prejudice. It follows the basic story line but transport it to modern day and replaces the Bennets of Hartfordshire as the Bakshi family of India. Mr. Darcy is an American who travels with his friend to India and meets Lalita. The basic plot of Pride and Prejudice plays out but several secondary characters are removed. I am a fan of the Bollywood flavor of this movie and I love how they breakout in song and dance throughout. I have the soundtrack on my ipod.
I recommend that everyone sees a version of pride and prejudice and I think that is culturally significance, let along it continued popularity over the past two centuries is enough to support my point. I hope that anyone who likes a good romance chooses to see this movie. And in my opinion it takes a lot for any other fictional male to live up to the most fabulous and illustrious Mr. Darcy.