(I was given the DVD Pride and Prejudice free of charge by Special Ops Media in order to review it.)
I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice yet – thought it is on my reading list for this year. After watching this beautifully romantic movie, I plan on starting it very soon.
Most of you know the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, so I won’t retell it now. I want to talk about the movie. This was one of the most beautifully filmed movies I’ve ever seen. I know I was given the movie free of charge, but I think I’ve proven with my Mind and Media reviews that I try to go into any book or movie I’m reviewing with some objectivity. Trust me when I say this movie is beautiful. In so many movies set in England we are given the idea that it is always cold and wet, and never stops raining. Yes, there was rain in Pride and Prejudice. But there were also sun-drenched gorgeous scenes.
Mr. Darcy’s Pemberly estate on the “well-stocked” lake was particularly beautiful. And the scenes on the Bennett’s farm were quaint and charming. The costumes were very well-done, and so was the casting.
One of the special features on the DVD is HBO’s First Look at the filming of the movie. Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth Bennett, talks about how every girl or woman who reads Pride and Prejudice feels like she owns the character of Elizabeth. They have very definite ideas of what she’s like and how she should be portrayed. And in fact, when this movie was first released in the theaters, I remember reading on more than one blog that people were unhappy with the casting of Ms. Knightley as Lizzie.
Since I haven’t read the book, I didn’t have this experience. I believed Ms. Knightley as Lizzie – she portrayed her as very real, straightforward, and human. And Matthew McFadyen, who played Mr. Darcy, was equally well-chosen. Definitely a good pick. A handsome choice. Ahem.
The only casting I questioned as I started watching the movie was Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett. I’ve been watching Commander in Chief this season, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to see him as an English country gentleman. That fear was unfounded – after the first scene, all I saw was Mr. Bennett.
This movie is not only beautiful, it is suffused with romance. The scene where Elizabeth is standing in the field in the pre-dawn fog and Mr. Darcy comes striding toward her across the field, the wind blowing his hair… And then when they come together and he leans his forehead down to touch hers, and the sun rises behind them – I love moments like that.
I definitely recommend this movie to all lovers of Austen and all lovers of romance in general.
The DVD includes many special features, including a portrait of the Bennett family, a short feature about Jane Austen, and HBO’s First Look.
Visit the official Pride and Prejudice DVD site to view a preview, pre-order the DVD, see pictures of the production and see Behind the Scenes. The DVD releases on February 28th.