19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A pleasant and inoffensive introduction to Jane Austen,
This review is from: Mansfield Park [DVD]  (DVD)
Mansfield Park is the most difficult of Austen's novels to adapt to either TV or film. I also think that it's inevitable that all her works lose some of their subtlety and depth when transferred to this medium as the camera cannot convey her unique tone. However, I liked this production. As an adaptatation it was not offensive, it was light and the story began and ended without going too far from the original. I understand that they did not fully explore some of the key themes such as the problem of primogeniture (whilst Tom was bad he was not nearly as bad as in the book...), colonialism (the plantation was hardly mentioned) and the play within the play but what was left was clear and conicise (needed in this day of short attention spans...). It is interesting that some reviewers have noted that this adaptation was like a soap opera, I believe that Jane Austen, if she were alive today, would be pleased with this comparison. What are soap operas if not social commentaries, a study of a microcosm of society. Austen is the literary queen of this genre and her influence can be seen today in the works of Jilly Cooper and dare I say it, Eastenders.
This film will not blow your mind, it will not cause you to debate important social themes of the time. It is not even that clever, there are few, if any tantalising motifs to pick up on. What it is though is watchable. It leaves you feeling that you want to know more and this is the important point. I sincerely hope that those left wanting to know more will then read the book and liking it will read other Austen novels and then maybe some Fanny Burney and so on. If this film entertains and invokes the interest of just 25% of those that watch it and encourages them to explore the literature of this period then I feel it will have done its job.
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Initial post: 18 Feb 2008 17:08:57 GMT
Great review. Yes, I agree that if it encourages people to buy the book and read more in general then all well and good. And for what it's worth, I really liked this adaptation too.
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