Tonight my mother and I went to go see the new ‘Jane Eyre’ adaptation featuring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. I considered dragging my husband and foster son along, but since they seemed more excited at the prospect of being castrated, I decided to leave them at home. I’m glad I did, otherwise I’m sure my husband would have fallen asleep and my foster son would have been whining about being bored the whole time.
However, do not take that last sentence as an insult to the film. In fact, many of my favorite movies bore the male members of my family to distraction (perhaps because the majority of our male population lacks emotional depth and appreciation for movies without battle scenes). Now, on to the film itself…
I have been a fan of ‘Jane Eyre’ for many years, so I went to see this movie with several other beloved film versions and the book itself in mind. Even though I did find a few flaws with the film, overall, it was worth watching. I didn’t really like the way the movie kept bouncing back and forth between present time and flashbacks, but that was mainly because I was worried that my mother (who was unfamiliar with the story) would have a hard time following what was going on. Luckily, she was able to catch on fairly quickly.
I also felt that the film didn’t give enough attention to Jane’s years living with her aunt and at Lowood. These years were very important to the development of Jane’s character and shouldn’t have been rushed so much. Previous versions of the film did seem to do these scenes better.
As for the acting, Mia did a fine job as Jane and I loved Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. The passion and brooding misery that is Mr. Rochester came out loud and clear. The little girl that played Adele wasn’t quite the enchanting little entertainer I expected, so I felt that character fell a bit short. The revelation scene where Jane finds out about Mr. Rochester’s first wife also seemed a bit flat. I didn’t think that they completely illustrated how insane this woman is supposed to be.
Overall, this movie is worth watching, but is probably not the best version of this classic story. The cinematography of the film is very dark and subdued, but beautiful in its own simple way. A few of the shots at first were shaky and almost made me dizzy, but the film soon smoothed out.