118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
faithful to the essence of the book and very compelling,
This review is from: Jane Eyre [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)This film had been well reviewed before I went to see it, and I expected it to be good. In effect, it exceeded expectations. It is generally true to the spirit of the novel and does not 'mess about' with it at all, though the chronology is changed - we start (very dramatically) with Jane's flight from Thornfield after the aborted 'wedding' and learn about her troubled past through flashback. That works fine. Her time at Lowood is rather briefly dealt with, but the essence is caught and the scenes with Helen Burns are moving. The film is often very beautiful visually, with breathtaking scenes of Jane standing alone at crosstracks wondering which way to go, crossing a huge moorland landscape alone as darkness threatens, making her way through misty trees to post letters (and thereby meeting Rochester), of Rochester hurrying after her over a bridge to propose (a scene echoed rather poignantly later), of Jane's lonely schoolhouse in late evening, of Jane in a darkened room trying to view a framed drawing by candlelight. The film is particularly good in the 'Gothic' scenes by night at Thornfield, where strange sounds - laughter, screams - are heard and Jane makes her way along corridors to investigate ; indeed, the reality of day-to-day living in a place like Thornfield in the mid 19th. century is very well conveyed.
Jane's relationship with Rochester - on the face of it, an unlikely one - is, of course, a central pillar of the novel, and in this film it pretty well works. That it does so is the result of some clever scripting (the script echoes nicely Charlotte Bronte's words at many points) and some very good work from Mia Wasikowska (Jane) and Michael Fassbender (Rochester). Wasikowska has been made to look exactly the part, a plain but interesting girl with an extraordinary face and range of thoughts and feelings expressed, usually, through very limited facial gesture. It's impressive. Young Jane, played by Amelia Clarkson, is also very good. Fassbender likewise does a good job with a complex, outwardly forbidding, tormented character with whom we have to empathise, and we do. Mrs. Fairfax is Judi Dench - almost enough said ; she conveys exactly the right mix of conscientiousness, loyalty and kindliness. Jamie Bell in the rather ungrateful role of St. John Rivers - good to the point of obsession and emotionally colourblind - is fine. This all works well.
I'm trying to think if there was anything I didn't like about the film, but I don't think there was. Of course it could have been done in a different way at all sorts of points, and indeed it has in the many previous adaptations, some very good. But I think this is an intelligent and compelling film which most people would greatly enjoy. I did.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Feb 2012 15:46:43 GMT
Mrs. C. A. Goodyear says:
I am now compelled to buy this film, there are so many adaptions and sadly I havent see one or read the book , bad of me, but I have been looking for the best comment and find this one the best of all. I do hope i enjoy it as much as this has been enjoyed by this customer.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2012 22:14:48 GMT
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane says:
... and so do I, and thank you for your kind comments!
Posted on 19 Oct 2012 23:42:18 BDT
Ms. S. C. Bidwell says:
Thanks for this great review, which expresses exactly what I thought of this production. Despite the many previous productions there have been, this may be my favourite. It's a toss up between this and the Toby Stephens one.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Oct 2012 09:05:37 GMT
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane says:
Thank you for your kind comments.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 09:03:27 GMT
Elaine Simpson-long says:
I watched this on DVD last night and found myself totally gripped by it, not often the case with adaptations of Jane Eyre which drive me up the wall mostly. It is one of my all time favourite books so I freely admit I can be hypercritical but I enjoyed this very much. I thought Michael Fassbender portrayed his moral struggle well and Mia W was not too pretty as Jane. I also have on DVD the Toby Stephens/Ruth Wilson version which I thought was brilliant though a rather chocolate box final happy ending scene was rather silly, but the way this version ended, though perhaps rather abrupt was just right. I loved it and am now buying it. At £3.77 I would be daft not to!
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