Sunday, 18 November 2012

Pride and Prejudice (2005) - ★★★★★

Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Jane Austen (novel), Deborah Moggach (screenplay)
Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Simon Woods, Judi Dench

Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice is stunning in every way imaginable. The casting is nothing short of perfection, the cinematography is breathtaking, the music is absolutely beautiful, and the story entails one of the greatest romances of all time. The romance of Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen).

Based on Jane Austen's novel of the same name, Pride and Prejudice displays love and life during the Georgian era in England. The family's future happiness and security is dependent on the five Bennet sisters making good marriages.  Mrs. Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) wants nothing more than to have her five daughters be married before her husband Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland) dies, for their home and belongings would pass to the male next in line to inherit them. When a rich gentleman, Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) spends the summer in the country, he falls for Jane (Rosamund Pike), the beautiful Bennet sister. He brings with him his sister, and the proud yet dashing Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are very similar in personality, thus clashing in a story filled with misjudgements and love. This is a story that shows the pressure that women in the Georgian era were under to get married, with gossip, scandals and class determining the security of their future.

The characters of Pride and Prejudice immediatley capture your interest, with their many different personalities and problems clashing into a very entertaining story. Not only are the leads perfect for the roles, but the supporting cast is absolutely brilliant. I loved watching their stories unfurl, mainly due to the magnificent performances on all accounts, as well as the witty and refreshing dialogue. Knightley truly gave her greatest performance as Elizabeth, who is extremely clever and is constantly in deep thought. She really dictated how you felt during the film. When she was happy, I was happy. Her smile is infectious as well as her sadness. Credit goes to both her acting ability and the story. The same compliments go for Matthew Macfadyen, who played the abrupt, rude and anti-social Mr. Darcy so well. There was one scene in which he told Elizabeth "You have bewitched me body and soul," that literally had me swooning, for the ferocity in his eyes during that scene burned right through the screen.

The whole film flowed so effortlessly it reminded me of Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. I could not believe the beauty in the cinematography. The stunning locations that were shot just seemed so unreal. I found all the scenes inbetween the dialogue and the story just as riveting, which is a credit to the masterful direction of cinematography by Ronin Osin. It also has one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever heard by composer Dario Marianelli, with classical music making each scene so much more beautiful. The costume design by Jacqueline Durrin, combined with the amazing dance choreography, set the mood of the era so well that it can be compared to the masterful scenes from Gone With The Wind.

I cannot praise this film enough. All I can say is that this is a classic story that I love to death. With perfect casting, story, cinematography, music, costume, and choreography, there's no doubt in my mind that Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest films of all time.

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