28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Very good version of a great book
, 31 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD]  (DVD)
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Jane Eyre. I'm quite picky over TV productions of my favourite books - for example, I'm no great fan of the Firth/Ehle P&P (an almost sacreligious version, in my opinion) - but this production of JE, I feel, has got very close to the essence of the novel. A bit over-blown at times, but then so is JE! It was given a noughties' treatment, without destroying the overall feel of the novel. The chemistry between Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens built beautifully. And a good, solid supporting cast, full of reliable regulars.
I've given it 4 not 5 stars, however, because of a couple of reservations: I thought the Jane/St John relationship, so important in the book, could have been handled much better thereby improving the overall production. Their final encounter, when she almost agrees to marry him then hears Rochester's supernatural 'Jane' x 3 (and what happened to her impassioned response???), is one of the best bits of the novel. And why the Cape and not India? Also, why was Blanche Ingram a blue-eyed blonde? Rochester's choice of Blanche as his 'false' bride is significant (and cruel, both to Jane and also Blanche, despite the latter's character), as physically she must remind him of Bertha. I think Charlotte Bronte intended her reader to recognise the shared moral emptiness of Blanche and Bertha partly through their similarities in appearance. Oh, well, that's the lit crit out of the way! Mind you, how could anyone accuse Toby Stephens of not being handsome?
I remember the Jayston/Cussack version with great affection. I may buy both then compare.
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