Yooo people. I used to do so many movie reviews before I joined WordPress. I need to populate the ‘Movies’ Category of my blog. I’m not saying that that’s my only motivation in writing his review, because I would have done it regardless.
Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics (It may just be my favorite classic, period.) The tale of an unloved, lonely little girl facing prejudices and hardships to emerge as a smart, amazing, forgiving person and to go on and find love in the best way possible and live happily ever after…*sigh of contentment * What’s not to like??? I’ve read the book so many times, it’s taken a shabby appearance, yet every time she faces the harsh unfairness of her asshole relatives and every time Helen dies and every time she watches Mr. Rochester from afar chatting with that bimbo Blanche Ingram, I feel a lump form in my throat and a sharp pang in my chest.
The book, for a book written so long ago, was surprisingly relatable for me. The issues it faced, aside from the obvious one of love and the conditions it must fulfill in those times, was touching and, in my opinion, satisfyingly (if not realistically) resolved. The idea of a working class girl with nothing to her name finding love with a rich, older man. Of her being able to do so and assert herself in a male-dominated world, having no experience of society and such. Of her hardship-filled childhood which, instead of scarring her with its injustice, made her into a woman of high morals; patient and forgiving. Of poetic justice being served and everyone getting their deserved endings.
I loved every aspect of the book, so when I heard of the movie being made, starring Mia Wasikowska (from Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are Alright) and Michael Fassbender(whom I’d never heard of before) I knew it would have to be pretty spectacular to stack up against the original. Sadly, though, I knew most movies never do (It’s a near-impossible feat to accomplish) I didn’t dare pin up any hopes against it. But a while after the movie was released, I read a few reviews, all of which praised the film highly, leading me to have hope. And hope is never good.
The movie, based on itself as a period drama, is pretty good. It may even be better than just ‘pretty good’. But it paled in comparison to the book.
The film did everything it was supposed to. It started off well and gave a concise yet accurately emotive picture of her childhood without oversimplifying key points and relationships. I used the extent I was moved at different points during the film as a barometer of how good the film was. The film was pretty good until the time of the almost-kiss after the almost-fire in Mr. Rochester’s room. Before that part, I was eating out of the films hand, if it had hands. The quietly suggestive conversations between Jane and Mr. Rochester were superbly done. My hair was standing on edge. Michael Fassbender has the most amazingly expressive eyes. It was easy to see how our heroine stayed clueless of his intentions yet was drawn to him based on those cryptic sentences and those hypnotic eyes. Where were we? Yes, the almost kiss in the bedroom…
They had to add that, didn’t they? It served the sex-starved movie-watching masses of today but it didn’t fit into the story. That’s basically a confession of his feelings. She was supposed to be still sort of in the dark. She was supposed to be kind of confused by his oddly passionate words, but an almost kiss is basically letting-the-cat-out-of-the-bag WAY too early. Aw, shucks. I know I may be being a little too anal about this, but instead of her liking him and not daring believe he liked her, it was more like, she turned away from him, then realized she liked him because of the whole jealousy thing with Blanche (such an ugly name). See the difference? The first scenario is so much more heartfelt and keener. Looking at him from afar, thinking of being separated from him, of saying the words you long to hear to another, doesn’t that make your heart ache? Even as a casual observer? *sigh*
I’ll stop my purist ranting and move on. The scene where she confesses her love and he proposes to her was done as well as can be hoped (seemed a bit rushed though) and it warmed my heart to see them kiss and finally find themselves in the company of the other.
The wedding scene was as expected, too, BUT they made his first wife pretty. She’s supposed to be huge, fat and ugly. (Though I always wondered how a mental illness causes a supposedly beautiful person to turn into Shrek minus the coloration..hmm) The part where Jane stays locked in her room after the wedding fiasco and even afterwards when he begged her to stay with him and continue loving him didn’t get a rise out of my emotional barometer.
(That thing is accurate, yo) Instead of the pangs of heartbreak and mind-reeling incredulity, I felt nothing. It just seemed like a scene with a lot of sniffling action going on. And I mean A LOT of sniffling action.
One thing that I did like about the film was how they introduced John Rivers first, making a person unaware of the plot think that he may possibly be the love interest. In the book, after already being acquaintedwith the series of events at Thornfield Hall, we knew nothing could come of her relationship with Rivers. That guy had a stick up his disciplinarian ass. Didn’t like him at all. Presumptuous little pr*ck that he was. What did HE know about love? But I didn’t get why they failed to introduce that whole ‘oh, we’re related!’ thing. I know it’s unacceptable, an offer of marriage to your cousin, but it was back then, so boo-hoo, man up, and do the story correctly! Although I thought the whole accidental relation thing was far-fetched, it was part of the poetic justice-happy ending aspect of the story. All I’m saying is they shouldn’t have changed it.
One thing I absolutely LOVED about the film. I loved the stunning, hauntingly picturesque cinematography. I am a fool for pretty pictures, and this film has plenty of ‘em. (note to self: I might just paste my review of 127 hours. It’s a perfect example of stunning visuals combined with a unique plot that emotionally invests you in the story and teaches you a few lessons as well)
Acting. The acting was flawless (sniffle scene aside, that is). I could find no fault in both the leads acting. Wasikowska got the accent down pat and Fassbender, as I’ve already said, was amazing. That guy was almost too pretty to look at. Except for the last scene.
I wanted to see their happily-ever-after epilogue. I wanted to see him get his vision back and regain that Mr. Rochester-ness. But the main problem I had with the last scene wasn’t the open-ish ending (because we all know they get married and live happily ever after) it was the SCRAAGILY BEARD. There, I said it! BEARD BEARD BEARD. SCRAAGILY BEARD. *pukes* HOW COULD SHE KISS HIM LIKE THAT? GROSS!!! EW EW EW! Just thinking about it is making me wanna wash my eyes out. She should have patiently waited until she could have him shaved by the butler or whomever and then kissed him. Or she should have at least parted his scraggily mustache hair out of the way and then kissed him. I’m wondering, did Mia Wasikowski get paid enough to kiss a hairy Michael Fassbender??? I think not. No money in the world should induce a girl to do that. Here’s an eye candy screencap. Let’s rinse our eyes out together, shall we?