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Truly outstanding. What more can I say? I am not usually the type to fall so deeply in love with fictional characters and idillic fantasies, especially not those of a period drama, but with this, it is
absolutely unavoidable. Being of an often cynical nature, pretty sugary fables and fairytales are not often so appealing to me, and I often find it hard to stay fully devoted to the screen for more than a half hour. However, with this reconstruction of a fabulous book,it is anything but a sugary fantasy, and it is hard to take one's eyes off the screen for anymore than a second.
Being now a university student, I first was introduced to the story 4 years ago, in my G.C.S.E. English Literature class. Not being the most enthusiastic 15 year old reader, I unwillingly dragged my eyes over the first page of the novel. And little did I know that's all it would take. After 1 page I was absolutley hooked. I hurried through the remaining pages in a desperate attempt to discover the ending. And, to my satisfaction, my now very generous teacher offered to show the 1995 version of the classic, which to my little and somewhat ignorant knowledge was aired for the first time on the BBC 5 years before. Of course, loving such a clever and endeering book, I was somewhat dubious of the television version, and to those who are still to discover the visual
reinactment, be not afraid. It's absolutely everything you want, and more!
Firstly, the cast are absolutely flawless. I would love to add a crticism at this point, but I really cannot. Each character has been so carefully picked that you will never read the book again without picturing their faces. Elizabeth played by a virtually unknown actress, Jennifer Ehle, is as wonderfuuly heroic as she appears in the book. Ehle has an undoubtable knack for capturing the quick wit and broad insight of a young woman in the early 19th century, especially in the most vital
scenes. She truly becomes Elizabeth Bennett, and it is so unbelievably hard to imagine her walking the streets every day in a pair of jeans and her hair tied back in a casual ponytail! You really will believe this is thee Elizabeth Bennett Jane Austen imagined almost 200 years ago, while carefully forming and sculpting this marvellous character. Mr Darcy is played by the better known Colin Firth, but when watching this film, you must throw out of your mind all his previous, sometimes 'seedy'
roles, and let him transform before your eyes into the irresistable man we all love, and love to fall in love with. After watching his performance once, you will have forgotten anything else he has ever done. I really cannot imagine any other actor displaying a better performance of this tricky and often challenging role. This is not a character that could be played by just any actor, not even the greats. I often try to imagine Hugh Grant or Orlando Bloom, and squirm at the thought of them
attempting to bring to life this character. It is not that these are by any means bad actors, it is simply that you can immediately clearly see Firth was born for this role, and in the hands of a lesser actor, the character would plummit in our estimations, taking the main focus of the book away. This may seem an over the top sentiment, but let\'s face it, without the most perfect Darcy, Pride and Prejudice would fail to exist! Firth really puts flesh and bones on this character, and his thoughtful sensuality throughout, captures the heart of every! woman. His eyes often say a million words more than his mouth, and his delicate subtleness enraptures his viewer, and I truly defy any woman not to have fallen in love with the handsome, sensitive and even if at times proud Mr Darcy.
The supporting cast are all excellent. Susannah Harker as the quiet and delicate kind hearted Jane, Crispin Bonham Carter as the naive yet hugely generous Mr Bingley, David Bamber as the scrumptuousley sleezy Mr Collins, Anna Chancellor as the sceaming \'bitch\' character Miss
Bingley, Alison Steadman as the over the top, and sometimes characature embarassing mother Mrs Bennett and every other actor involved. It is not often you find a production filled with a uniquely and uncommonly flawless cast.
The scenery and sets and costumes are all also incredible eye candy, and extremely conventional and realistic of the time. Every character's hair and costume cleverly reflects their personality and social standing. You cannot help but think that without these basic but intricate and precise necessities, the production would have otherwise failed. The towns and houses and inner decor are all fabulousely beautiful. Once again, the houses and furnishings all reflect the wealth and social
positions of its owner. The Bennett's house being one of the smaller, with basic furnishings, and Mr Darcy's wealthy estate of Pemberley, being the most grand and impressive with the most ornate and intricate furnishings. These careful observations and delicate details really do help to fully complete an already outstanding production.
After picking up my Pride and Prejudice book from 4 years ago again for the first time last summer, I was immediately hooked once more, and talked myself into buying a production on video to keep. So I dragged myself out to the shops, thinking it would be extremely difficult to find, but, to my pleasant surprise, I found it perched on the shelf of the first music/video shop I entered. It was a little expensive for a video to a poor struggling student like me, after all, I do need to party! However, it's worth every penny!
As you can see, I could talk on and on forever, but in conclusion, you MUST see this film. At 5 hours long, some may find the length a little daunting, however do not be put off, as it is worth every second! The production on DVD comes in 6 different episodes in order as shown on TV, and contains extra interviews with cast members and the production team. The video comes in a double box set, separated into two, 2 and a half hour episodes, with the first video ending at the most crutial point of the story!! However you coose to watch it, in short bursts, or, in my favoured method, in a full 5 hour binge, you will enjoy it immensely. It is a truly unique production, and it will be well worth your money. As, once you buy it, you have it to enjoy forever, and watch over and over and over and over and over again, because believe me, you absolutely will!!!
By User - United Kingdom
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