Monday, 19 March 2012

The Review - Jane Eyre

So since Luke and I got married, we have taken to the habit of reading aloud to each other. I guess it's due to the fact that we don't have a TV, which to be honest we really don't miss. Of course we watch our favourite TV shows and movies on DVD, but many evenings are also spent curled up with a book, reading chapters in turn. In the past 18 months, we have read: Harry Potter 1-5, Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Tolkien's The Hobbit, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, and Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles. It's quite fun reading novels together, especially Harry Potter. You see, I have read all the Harry Potter books, but this is the first time Luke has read them, so it's great fun watching him try to guess what's going to happen next. Luke is a great reader, and I maintain that he could be on the radio.

One thing I especially love is reading a book and then watching the movie. As you can see, we are all prepared for when The Hobbit and The Great Gatsby finally make it to the cinema. So when I heard early last year that yet another screen adaptation of Jane Eyre was coming out, I knew it was time for me to finally read the book.

I actually started reading Jane Eyre without Luke. However, I was so captivated by it that from the first few pages I would constantly update him about what was happening in the story. When he asked how work was,  I would reply, "You'll never guess what Mr. Rochester said to Jane today." Okay, I admit work was deathly boring at the time I was reading this book. Over time, Luke's curiosity grew so much that he asked if we could read it together, which we did.

I have to say that if you have never read Jane Eyre, then you really should, though I have discovered from my friends it is one of those things that people either love or hate. I, for one, think it is an incredible read. I have never read another book with first-person narrative where the main character seemed so real and life-like. Well ahead of its time, Jane Eyre is a fictional autobiography of a girl's journey into womanhood, with strong social criticisms, independent ideas about class and feminism, and romantic moody gothic fiction all wrapped into one.

The recent film adaptation is also very worthwhile. Although fans of books know that no movie can ever do the story justice, this one succeeds pretty well. Jane Eyre is really more suited to a miniseries, but given its popularity some kind of film adaptation is done on average every five years. I can only surmise that this is because it will always draw a crowd, and it's also a really cheap epic movie to make. All you need is some beautiful countryside, an old mansion, and a few period costumes, and you're done.

So without further ado, here are some photos from the 2011 film. As you can probably tell from the photos, the cinematography is beautiful - the English landscapes are just stunning. I quite enjoyed how the film starts in a pivotal place halfway through the novel and then jumps back to the start. Mia Wasikowska does a great job as Jane, strong yet delicate, and although Michael Fassbender isn't how I had pictured Mr. Rochester, he definitely grows on you as the movie progresses. Plus it has Judi Dench in it, one of my all-time favourite actresses. But you should really read the book before seeing the movie.

The trailer:

Until next time :)

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