Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pride and Prejudice Comparisons Part 1


Hello!

I am sorry for my silence recently, you know how it is during the summer!

Recently I participated in a four-part comparison of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations made in 1995 and 2005, thanks to the lovely Miss Woodhouse of Elinor, Elizabeth and Emma. (http://elinorandemma.blogspot.ca/) The lovely pictures are also courtesy of Miss Woodhouse. And anyone who does not agree with me, I am up for a comment war! ;)

Part 1
Elizabeth Bennet


1995

Ehle did a FANTASTIC job! She is Lizzy Bennet! Her wit and humour she brought to the part, as well as her tomboy-ish attitude! She was a perfect balance for the part and she would make a wonderful mistress of Pemberley! Her reactions to the other characters and the relationships she builds up are wonderful (with Darcy, Jane, Lady Catherine and Wickham to name but a few)! She was perfect for me! Her sisterly relationship with Jane was very strong and she also seemed very taken in by Wickham, just as she should have been.

2005

Fair do’s to Knightley! She did a good job! Her emotions she displayed were great, especially in the intense scenes, such as the first proposal and also the dance scene. Perhaps she was a little too tomboy-ish for Lizzy and I can’t quite see her as the mistress of Pemberley... I liked her relationship with Lady Catherine – that was entertaining! But still a very enjoyable performance!


Preference

Overall, I preferred the performance from Ehle as I think she found the right balance between the feminine side and tomboy side of Lizzy. Her playfulness with Darcy is really enjoyable to watch and Ehle’s portrayal is for me, as if she has just stepped out of the novel, but I do think that Knightley did the emotional and romantic scenes particularly well.

Mr Darcy



1995

Well, what can I say? Wasn’t he wonderful? His portrayal was amazing. His Darcy before the transformation was proud enough to be dislikable, as he was meant to be. I think his changing opinion of Lizzy and her ‘fine eyes’ is done by Firth very well. One very notable performance on his part is the first proposal. You can see the pain on the face and the struggle he has been through with his feelings, and then later you can see his anger towards Wickham! I also love his transformation at Pemberley (*cough* wet shirt *cough*) and the scene around the piano with that look which melts my heart!

2005
What a romantic man! I love the shyness in his performance and you can see how he is struggling with his affection for Lizzy! That amazing scene when he helps Lizzy into the carriage – another look which melts my heart! That is one thing about his performance, his facial expressions, however small, really express how he is feeling! And need I mention how romantic the first proposal scene is! I think not... He plays that scene wonderfully! Also, he takes into consideration the length of the film and he plays the ‘new’ Darcy just more relaxed, making it all the more believable.

Preference

  Oh! Don’t make me pick! I can’t! I CAN’T! So I won’t! ;) I think both their performances are AMAZING! Firth played up the pride, and Macfadyen played up the shyness! Each made the performance their own and did it very well, both with wet shirts at one time or another! ;)

Mr and Mrs Bennet



1995

I love their relationship in this version, with Mr Bennet teasing his wife excessively. They make a great couple! Mrs Bennet is such an over reactor in this which is really funny, but a little annoying at times, and Mr Bennet is not too indifferent to his family. I also enjoy his change of heart in the latter part of the story after Lydia runs away.


2005

Mrs Bennet in this version is very motherly and sweet towards her girls, but still overly dramatic, but not to a point of annoyance! I find Mr Bennet is very disinterested in his family, too indifferent. Also, he should have tried harder on the English accent! Together they were great, and his sarcasm throughout and the teasing of his wife, and of Mr Collins, were funny!

Preference

Overall, I prefer Mr Bennet in the 1995 one because he is more how I imagined him from the novel, and takes interest in the family and doesn’t seem totally disinterested in them! But, I like the 2005 Mrs Bennet because she seems more motherly, making the Bennet family seem closer. Also, she is not too much of a drama queen compared to the 1995 one! But, if I couldn't mix and match, I think I would have to pick the 1995 couple, mainly down to Mr Bennet.

Jane Bennet



1995

I think Jane is wonderful in the version. She is sweet, innocent, kind and just as she should be. (But one small thing I would say is that I do not think she is prettier than Lizzy, which she is meant to be, according to the novel.) I think she plays the beginning of the relationship with Bingley well; she seems to like him a lot, yet does not show the extent of her admiration, as is described in the book. Her relationship with Lizzy seems really strong, and they seem very close and I love the scenes with Jane and Lizzy when they are discussing Bingley, and Darcy at times!

2005

I think this Jane was again sweet, innocent, kind and as she is described in the book. And I personally think she is prettier than Lizzy in this version! I think she does the latter part of the relationship with Bingley well; she seems very upset when she thinks it is all over, and I love her reaction when Bingley proposes! I like the comic side of the relationship between her and Lizzy, and I wish they were shown to talk more (espcially after Darcy had proposed), but I loved the conversation after the Meryton Assembly under the covers!

Preference

This is a hard choice. I like them both. But overall, I think I like the 2005 Jane. Her innocence throughout and the development of her relationship with Mr Bingley is great. I also love her relationship with Lizzy, and with her other sisters (like at the very beginning of the film when they are pestering her for her clothes for the Meryton assembly!) I only wish that Lizzy had shared more about her relationship with Darcy with Jane, but I think this is due to the length of the film.

Mr Bingley



1995

I love Bingley in this one. He is innocent and amiable, but not silly. He seems a very gentleman like man, and his affection for Jane is sweet and very evident. I think the scenes with himself, his sisters and Darcy while they discuss the Bennets are good. You can see that he realises the problems, but he is trying to defend her. It is nice that the length of the series allows you to see more of him, and the scene before the proposal is sweet as he seems so agitated, as you would expect him to be. :)

2005

He is such a sweet Bingley. He is almost so innocent, that perhaps he is a little silly? I think he is like a young man in love for the first time. This isn’t altogether a bad thing, but I think he needs to be a bit more masculine! But, saying that, I love his nervousness when he returns Meryton, and returns to Longbourne to propose. The scene with him almost practising his proposal with Darcy is a great moment, and very funny! I wish we could have seen more of Bingley... This is again down to the length.

Preference

I prefer the 1995 Bingley – he is just more manly! They are both great but I think the 1995 one seems to act more his age, but still has that nervousness of a man truly in love! I also love his little scenes with Darcy, which shows their relationship, which is important to the story, and nice to see. Bingley is such an amiable gentleman!

Wickham



1995

Oh! What an abominable character! I do not like him! The way he is portrayed in this version makes him such a ‘love to hate’ character. You can see the appeal at the beginning of the story, and it is easy to be taken in by his charm, but then later, it is also easy to dislike him! He is so annoying in the second half, especially after he returns with Lydia and acts as if he has done nothing wrong! ‘My dear sister’, yes well Lizzy had had other ideas about you at one time, which you should take care to remember! As you can see, Wickham really makes me angry and his portrayal in this version was great, making him an easily dislikable character! I also like the ‘extra’ scenes we see; firstly, the scenes showing the background with Darcy, shown while Darcy writes the letter, and secondly, the scenes in London with Lydia.

2005

I think we needed to see more of Wickham as he is not so dislikable in this version, but again this is down to the length! (Ok, this version needed to be longer!) I think he seems very charming at the beginning when we first meet him, and therefore it is easy to see why Lizzy fell for him. He is also, I think, more dashing in the military uniform than the other Wickham! ;) I find the scene when he return with Lydia well done on his part, as you can see how he knows the relationship between him and Lizzy has deteriorated, and that final look as he walks out of Longbourn says a lot! I also thought another scene he performed well was when he revealed the history with Darcy; he made himself appear very angry, helping make the story he was telling more believable. He is dislikable as I dislike him, but he does not provoke such strong feelings as the 1995 Wickham did.

Preference

On balance, I prefer the 1995 Wickham because I find him much easier to dislike, which I like as he is such an abominable character! :) I also like that we get to see more of him, and the scene after Lizzy has read the letter from her Aunt revealing all that Darcy did to help Lydia is really entertaining! I love how Lizzy lets him talk for a bit before revealing what she knows! ;)

Lady Catherine



1995

What wonderful eyebrow acting! She did a wonderful job! Her conversations with Lizzy were great and her facial expressions said a lot! I love her treatment of Collins, and her power to make him silent in an instant! I think she plays the part very well and makes her comments to Lizzy seem a little impolite at times, as it is meant to be, which we can see from Darcy’s reactions to some of her speeches! She also did the confrontation with Lizzy very well, seeming very disconcerted and angry with Lizzy.

2005

Her facial expressions were also wonderful! Her reactions to Lizzy’s replies to her questions were great, showing how unacceptable her answers were deemed to be (by her); no governess? How shocking! ;) I think she seemed more proud and aware of her position in this version, and Mr Collins seemed almost scared of her! This is further shown during the confrontation. It is a lot more intense than the 1995 version, perhaps helped by the fact that it happened in the middle of the night!, and Lady Catherine seems extremely angry. This manner she adopts, as well as Lizzy’s quick responses, help to create a strong atmosphere in that scene, which is great!

Preference

This is quite a hard decision as they both perform the part extremely well! But, I think I like the performance from the Lady Catherine in the 1995 version. I like her treatment of the other characters and how the other characters react to her, in particular Lizzy, Darcy and Mr Collins. The confrontation was great, but I did enjoyed that scene in both versions.
 

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4



Your affectionate friend,
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4 comments:

  1. And what of Mr. Collins, Lizzie? I hope he'll be compared in Part 2!
    Your affectionate sister,
    Jane

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    Replies
    1. Of course I do, I said there were 4 parts to this ;) he is in part 2, which is now published ;)

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  2. I totally agree with you that Ehle IS Lizzie Bennett. Also I don't really like to say this, but Jane in the 1995 version didn't look nearly as pretty as Ehle. I have to say that I'm leaning more towards Firth for Darcy. Now, this might seem like I'm completely on the 1995 version, but I do think Mr. Collins in the '05 version was hilarious and wonderfully creepy. :D

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    Replies
    1. She really was!!
      And unfortunately that's true, whereas I think she was prettier in the 05 film.
      I vary! Right now I may be on firth, but then tomorrow it would be MacFadyen! Hence why I can't choose!
      Haha bless Collins!!
      Thanks for sharing! Would love to hear your thoughts for the other part 2 (and others when there published ;) )

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