Saturday, March 20, 2010
THE 100 BEST FILMS of 2000-2009:
FILM #5: "Pride & Prejudice" (2005)
The film that made Keira Knightley a star and what a revelation she was as Jane Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennett. Austen's novel has been adapted several times before but what this film manages to juxtapose so superbly is the state of relations in 18th century England to how things are currently. The nuances of the characters are very familiar especially surrounding the issue as marriage. The issue of love and its choice though is wonderfully creased in Knightley's performance and in stark contrast to that of her mother, Mrs Bennet (played with great frivolity by Brenda Blethyn).
The film also shows the awkwardness associated with the stern austerity of the times and how characters steel themselves or rebel against what is expected from them. There is a winning out of the heart and not the strictly sane choices one must make. Beneath its formality and even Judi Dench's awesome and small role as Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a reality that the love of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen)must face and overcome. In the end, the story is timeless and a winning formula to make a great film. The adaptation though isn't afraid to shed its starchy inclination to look beneath personalities to reveal the living, breathing thing that is hidden beneath.