I love the BBC reproductions of classics, they transport you to a completely different era and its hard not to fall for the ruggedly leading men, who are flawed, witty, kind and intense. Here are a few stellar adaptations of some timeless English classics, I know many can't stand these period dramas... but I can never get enough of them.
Jane Eyre: I can't tell you how much I love this book and the character of Jane Eyre, I loved everything about it... the calm and morally upright Jane, the intriguingly flawed Edward Rochester, the surprise in the attic, the way Jane deals with the surprise and her beahaviour towards the wicked aunt and the heart-searingly beautiful ending. For sometime, I used to go around calling myself Jane Eyre after reading the book... anyway, I loved the movie and the TV mini series that I saw. Anything with a BBC imprint on it is bound to be good, and the 2011 movie version with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender was interesting and really good. I liked the miniseries made in 2006 better though, it made an impact on me... Rochester was wonderfully portrayed by Toby Stephens, and you could feel his predicament. Ruth Wilson as Jane was charming and lively, there was a spark in her and that's what Rochester was drawn to. Ah, I could never tire of this classic story... thanks Charlotte Bronte for this wonderfully entertaining book, you must have been an awesome person to hang out with.I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face just thinking about Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in this TV mini-series (1995). Man, he nailed the role... I was floored by him, I mean the real Mr. Darcy in the book, did not have any effect on me, he did seem full of himself at times. But Colin Firth breathed new life into his character, gosh... all I wanted to be was Elizabeth Bennet as I watched this TV series. She too was superbly cast as Jennifer Ehle, who did complete justice to her captivating role. The problems they faced in those days are so evident in this day and age too... parents still worry about settling their daughters properly, and society is as inquisitive and judgmental as it was in the days of Jane Austen. I wish we had the dances here though, the social gatherings where people wear nice flowing dresses and the men are neatly dressed and the dance is choreographed beautifully like in Taylor Swift's Love Story video. I think I would have been at home in that era... anyway getting back to the series, I loved every moment of it, the beautiful English landscapes, the pretty dresses, the horse drawn carriages, the way Mr. Darcy knows that he is beginning to fall for the intelligently charming and witty Elizabeth, no wonder it's a classic... I have always admired Colin Firth after this movie, and I was especially pleased when he won the Oscar last year. Mr. Darcy is wonderful because of him...
Watching the 2009 TV series Emma was real fun... even the book was interesting. Emma is so dense, she thinks she knows everything and she tends to act like a fairy godmother always meddling in people's lives. She does everything with good intentions of course, it's just that she is naive and can't see what's right in front of her. The Alicia Silverstone movie Clueless is based on this book. This is an extremely well made TV series, the actors fit their parts well... I especially liked Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly, the witty and smart guy who is the only person capable of talking down to Emma. Emma was good enough as Romola Garai, but I wasn't really fond of her character while reading the book... she seemed like one of those relatives who gossip and talk too much. I never really liked Mr. Knightly ending up with her, I always thought he was too good for her... well, it's Jane Austen's story, I can't change the ending.
I saw the 1995 version of the movie and it was rather interesting. I liked Kate Winslet as the impulsive sister Marianne, Emma Thompson gives a restrained performance as the eldest and most sensible sister Elinor. That's where the novel gets its name from, from its two leading characters... Elinor is thoughtful and logical representing 'sense' and Marianne is all emotional and easily swayed by her 'sensibilities'. I've never liked Hugh Grant, I don't know why... maybe because he is too pale, but he does his job well. All in all, a good movie... nothing to rave about though. A tamil version of the book was made with Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Ajith and a few others...
|The Dashwood sisters...|
Wuthering Heights: This is the only book, I haven't read in the list mentioned here... I don't like brooding tales of despair and guilt. The 2009 TV series was interesting enough, Tom Hardy (the forger in Inception) gives a convincing performance as Heathcliff. The story is at times eerie, morbid and just plain weird... the sense of despair that seems to envelope it is haunting yet engrossing. Unlike her sister's novel Jane Eyre, Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights was quite controversial in its time, this tale of passion and jealousy might seem the norm these days. But in those days of yore, I can imagine how it must have impacted the genteel sensibilities of the readers. Anyway, its a good enough TV series... I wouldn't say I liked it, it was interesting enough.
|Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw|