Sunday, 18 September 2011

Jane Eyre (2011)

Running Time: 121 mins
Directed By: Cary Fukanaga
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench
Screenplay: Moira Buffini
UK Release Date: UK - 9th September

Quick Plot: Charlotte Brontë's classic novel Jane Eyre tells of how the young, beautiful, Jane flees from her compelling school Thornfield Hall becoming a governess meanwhile falling in love with the man she works for; mysterious Mr. Rochester.

Review:  Period dramas are a little harder to come by these days, so a classic like Jane Eyre is a real treat for the cinema. The novel is one of the most famous pieces of literature so I knew the name Jane Eyre but when I first watched the trailer (because Fassbender's name was attached) I really had no idea what to expect as far as the storyline goes. But what it turns out to be something of a favourite of mine, a beautiful, dramatic, deep love story with a frightening progress.
Mia Wasikowska is undoubtedly the best actress to have been the young, plain, magnificent Jane. Because of course, Jane isn't really plain at all. She is such a beautiful character inside and out, a famous woman in literature, played by a truly talented fine actress in this adaptation. Though I have yet to see The Kids Are All Right, her role as Alice in the slightly disappointing Alice In Wonderland, was exquisite. Making the film the least bit enjoyable, she really has something special in her characters which definitely showed through Jane. With the other acclaimed talents of Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, etc.. for Wasikowska to hold the attention on herself is a huge accomplishment. Not that Fassbender and Dench were unobserved in the film. Jane Eyre is a character who from the young age (played by Amelia Clarkson) is very much grown up in that she puts everyone before her, knows the morals of life and is very much independent. Wasikowska plays Eyre respectfully in the sense that even though she is the closest in age to the story of Jane Eyre, she plays her in her true role of being a grown up. Emotionally and psychically she proves to everyone that Eyre is sophisticated yet delicate, with passionate and moving scenes the character thoroughly develops throughout the entire film giving Wasikowska the fantastic opportunity of out stretching the role of Eyre to the limit.

Fassbender is something of a continually exceeding actor who is really making his mark recently and am sure will continue to do so. Mr. Rochester is a very dark character at first who later on we discover is not quite what he seems and you later on feel for Rochester because of the way Fassbender whole heartily plays the character. The scenes between Eyre and Rochester are possibly the greatest of the film because they're not all about the romance. With awkward encounters, funny and empathic confrontations the romance first lies deep into the chemistry of the actors which grows into a beautiful love story later on. Wasikowska has the elegant side of Jane whereas Fassbender plays the dark and handsome Rochester with a bit of mystery to him but never once being cold hearted or selfish- which you first believe he will be. Dench and Jamie Bell too, are fantastic ensembles to the film, both help push the story forward as it sadly seems to lag a bit at the beginning. Bell, I noticed, proves that he can play a role of a gentleman in the period drama age very well and had the charm that Eddie Redmayne has in most of his films.
The film is quite tense in places. With the dark secret Rochester holds, the film puts you on the edge of your seat many times. This adds to the beauty of the period drama genre which I admired hugely. Though at first I felt the film dragged, the cinematography and soundtrack kept me hooked into the time of the film. With stunning cuts of the Yorkshire land, the graceful buildings and pretty flowers and trees, Jane Eyre is definitely a treat for the eye.
The way the film progresses is another reason why I adored it. Starting near the end and then working it's way forward from an early flashback gets the audience involved in working out where you are now and why Jane Eyre is the way she is. From some disturbing scenes of Jane as a young child to her as a grown, loving adult, you sympathize with Jane Eyre and feel as if you know about her life. Nearly all scenes are with her in it, so you are confused and baffled but also overjoyed and in love at the same time with her.

Absolutely stunning cinematography with a beautifully talent cast, bringing one of the most famous love stories to life. Wasikowska steals the show in quite simply one of the best period dramas the cinema has seen.

Jane Eyre 2011 official trailer

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