Another Jane Eyre adaption staring Charlotte Gainsbourg & William Hurt.
The soundtrack to this movie was very sweet and lovely, which made the story touching. The scenery and cinematography were very good, but what really let this movie down was the casting and the script.
Anna Paquin as young Jane was very charming and well-cast. Charlotte Gainsbourg, who was cast as grown up Jane Eyre looked the part, but there were moments when I felt she lacked emotion to the extent that she lacked personality. This adaption turned Jane Eyre from the story of a young woman with determination and principles into a half-baked romance.
Unfortunately I also had serious issues with William Hurt, who was cast as Mr Rochester. He was aloof, detached and wooden. Rochester changes from being gloomy and harsh to loving, kind and pampering in the blink of an eye. Their relationship was superficial and under-developed. This is a big no-no for a story that is centred on the relationship of these two characters. Also, the movie seems to end abruptly, the last 20 minutes of the movie are very rushed. Pretty much the last quarter of the book was compressed and eliminated. *gasp* This includes the running away from Thornfield, the revelation of new relations, the trials and tribulation and her new job away from Thornfield.
The underdeveloped characters are also the result of the omission of important scenes and dialog. This short adaption didn’t do justice to Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Jane Eyre purist that feels a film has to absolutely and strictly adhere to the book. I understand Jane Eyre is a complex story and not everything can be put into a feature-length film. I don’t mind if Hollywood mangles the book a bit. However, I do expect the core themes of Jane Eyre to be kept and the central characters to be respected. Instead, in this film, I find a dispassionate and disappointing Jane & Rochester who do nothing for me. I have read many reviews on this movie from people who have never read the book or watched other Jane Eyre adaptions, and many of them absolutely love this movie. But for those of us who have read and come to know the characters of Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester, the true Jane & Rochester were not reflected on screen and this made the movie a washout. It’s not the best adaption of Jane Eyre, or the worst. Given a better script, this film could have been so much more. Its worth a watch, but don’t expect it to blow your socks off.
What did you think? Share your thoughts below.