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Customer Review

on 1 April 2012
I watched this film recently on BBC iPlayer; I am quite fond of period films, and though I don't normally seek out tragedies or romantic films I decided to give this one a go - for the time period it was in and for not knowing much about Keats. They described the film as a film on the love affair between John Keats and Francis Braune, battling against poverty and illness.
I did not know much of the subject matter before watching this movie, I'd read a few of Keats's poems in school (as most of us no doubt have) but I didn't even know of his early death or his romance with Fanny Braune.
I fully recommend this movie to romance and period film lovers, though be warned as the tragedy comes to it's end there may be tears.

This film captured my heart. I find most modern 21st Cent. romance films to be cheesy/corny, and frankly boring & not worth a re-watch, but in Bright Star the romance was one which most of us would dream of and yet shy away from (so powerful that a few words from that person could make you swoon or feel like dying). The music which drifted through occasionally was well thought out, and the innocence of their relationship portrayed by their ever so gentle and secret first kiss was magical. Although to many people it may not seem as if much is happening in this film, and perhaps they were expecting a more passionate relationship and hearts flying everywhere, but this is a film is focused upon two young people being drawn to one another, becoming soul mates, both unique (a seamstress and a poet) and their battles with love.
I also love the way the actor and actress portrayed their characters with Miss Braune being so innocent like at times, with a touch of flirting with Keats, yet very opinionated and curious; and John Keats being a rather scruffy poet but still becoming in his repeated outfit, being the one to fight against the blossoming love for Miss Braune's sake (due to his poverty), and he is so poetic at times that I could not tell if he was quoting again or just explaining points in a fantastical way.

The main points that we can go away with are explained in words at the very end of the film.

There were minor background parts of this film which lost me a little. But afterwards I started googling, mostly as I didn't want it to be over so soon, and found out more about Miss Francis Braune & Mr John Keats, and their connections. *
I imagine it would be hard to fully understand the background of the movie and characters without some knowledge of the life of John Keats, but for the main focus of the love affair it doesn't fail to be heart rendering and is never hard to follow. It is now undoubtedly my favourite romance film, though tragic.

Spoilers included:
For example how the family knows of Keats and speak of him with regard before they have all met him (e.g. with the touch of Fanny checking her appearance before delivering him the cup of tea), I found out later that the family had often conversed about him, and knew him well through gossip and such with other associates.
Or how Brown is so against Miss Braune in the movie - naming her a flirt and tease - exaggerating her flirtations to be a trap and making John Keats suspicious of her (unless curt remarks can be considered flirtations), later googling showed that real accounts recorded by Keats' friends stated they considered her so and as a distraction for his work (a threat to his way of life is how Brown must have seen her), and also the little spat between Keats and Brown must have been intended to show Keats' sometimes jealous nature recorded in his later correspondence with Miss Braune.
The part with the butterflies was sweet, although they looked a little exotic for England (too pretty though for that to be an annoyance to me!), and their deaths were very well timed with the Fanny's distraught nature at a later letter she received.
Also though they didn't mention the cause for travel to Italy much in the movie, I found it was to avoid the winter for the warm weather further south and their medicine, which the doctor thought might have aided his ill health toward the end.
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