Monday, September 10, 2012

Movie Review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Poster Image via Kurtodrome
On their first meeting, Jane Eyre tells Mr. Rochester she has no tale of woe. This isn't true. Jane has woe, she just doesn't want to tell him about it. She grew up an orphan with a nasty aunt who favored her own spoiled son who, predictably, enjoyed tormenting Jane. Eventually, she is sent to reform school where the ruthless nuns take an instant dislike to her, encouraging all her peers to do the same. She spends her first day standing on a chair above the others, without food or water as public humiliation for a vague charge of lying. Her best and only friend dies of fever within a few months. But that woe is hardly worth mentioning, considering what lies ahead for old Jane.

Mr. Rochester has hired Jane as governess for his niece, whom he has adopted after her mother's death. His estate sits on a desolate part of the heath where there is rarely other human companionship, especially of the quality deemed appropriate for Mr. Rochester. Obviously, in Victorian England, someone like Mr. Rochester cannot converse as an equal with mere servants. As a well educated and refined young woman, Jane is excluded from this rule. Mr. Rochester's brutish attempts to draw Jayne out irritate her at first, but it soon becomes clear that he is suffering from a broken spirit and a very strange secret. Slowly, they become friends, and eventually, she begins to feel strongly attached to him, even though she knows their love can never be. Talk about Romantic Longing! This has it ALL OVER Twilight, people. 

I'd read the novel many years ago, and I remember crying my eyes out when I finished- so tender, so heartbreaking, and so exactly the kind of dramatic, passionate love that every young girl fantasizes about. I wasn't sure what to expect from the film, but I was delighted by every frame. It perfectly captured the haunting, brooding mood of this story set on the dreary, windswept moor in a dark and grand old castle. 

Actress Mia Wasikowska portrays Jayne perfectly as rather a plain, quiet, person with a burning spirit within her. Her manner and costumes reminded me of the one photographic portrait of poet Emily Dickinson. Jane seems quiet and mousy, but her interior world is ablaze with life and passion. Michael Fassbender is unbelievably sexy as the tortured Mr. Rochester. That their love cannot be acted upon only ignites their passions further. I'm telling you, Charlotte  Bronte, Moira Buffini and Cary Fukunaga gave Eric and I a great date night flick.

Have you watched anything great lately? I'd love another romance as smart and sexy as this one.

1 comment:

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