may I ask why your relationship with the pride & prejudice (2005) is complex? I love hearing people's opinions about the movie
Now, I do not hold any sort of
beef or dislike anyone who prefers the 2005 adaptation over any other
adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Partly because everyone’s preference is
unique, and mostly because I’m not a massive head of a dick.
My relationship with the 2005 film is
complex because there are three parts of me whenever I watch a film.
The director and the writer and the fan.
The director likes the film very much.
She adores the editing, how the scenes are lit, how Marianelli’s music so
perfectly moves the scenes along and evokes the feelings of the characters, the
costumes, the acting. The little touches and production details, she is
particularly fond of.
The writer finds the film to be rather
middle-of-the-road. There’s good writing in there, wit and some good ideas.
(Whoever came up with the idea of Elizabeth and Darcy’s first touch coming
through him helping her into the carriage needs to get an award, because so
much subtext and the writer lurves
subtext.) But she finds that sometimes, the writing is a bit too modern and it
doesn’t really properly evoke the Regency era for her as other adaptations have
done in the past.
The fan hates some of the changes. The
alternative ending shall not be spoken of, for one. Another severely dislikes
the overly giggly nature of Elizabeth Bennet. Kiera Knightley is a very good
actress, but Elizabeth was always meant to be, for the fan, a bit more serious.
Inclined to laugh, obviously, but grounded. Lydia is flighty, flirting without
thought for the effect it has on the rest of her family. Elizabeth however, is
proud and therefore, pragmatic. By making Lizzy more giggly, zipping about
making sarcastic comments, it just makes the film lack a bit of gravitas.
Putting all that together, basically I
find that though a beautifully made film, the 2005 adaptation is just too
fluffy and too on the nose. I understand that it’s a film and therefore changes
have to be made to fit everything into 2 hours, but it misses the mark on a
lot, and that makes it, as I said, fluffy. I want some sharpness to my P&P,
Take the 1995 adaptation. I know it’s talky,
a bit stagey and a bit stiff in some places but it lies deep in my heart,
embedded there for always. Everyone talks about Darcy and Elizabeth being in
the thundering rain in the 2005 film and I’ll be honest, that is a fantastic
scene with that almost kiss but 1995, HOLY HELL. THIS REQUIRES EXTENDED
CAPSLOCK BECAUSE ELIZABETH BENNET LIT UP BY SUNSHINE AS SHE TEARS FITZWILLIAM
DARCY, OWNER OF THE PEMBERLEY ESTATE AND EARNER OF 10 GRAND A YEAR, A NEW ONE.
LOOK AT DARCY.
HE’S REHEARSED THAT SPEECH. YOU KNOW HE HAS. TEN TIMES, OVER AND OVER, IN FRONT OF HIS BATHROOM MIRROR. HIS VALET’S ALL, ‘THE GREEN WAISTCOAT OR THE WHITE, SIR?’ AND DARCY’S JUST LIKE, ‘YOU MUST ALLOW ME TO TELL YOU HOW ARDENTLY I ADMIRE AND LOVE YOU’ AND THE VALET’S ALL ‘UMMMM THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR’
(and yes that is a
Blackadder Goes Forth reference, what)
ANYWAY. HE SAYS THIS SHIT TO ELIZABETH.
‘YEP, I’LL IMPLY THAT SHE’S SHIT POOR AND IT’LL BE EMBARRASSING FOR ME TO MARRY HER, SHE’S SO GONNA SAY YES RIGHT NOW, GOOD ONE DARCY.’
MEANWHILE LIZZY’S RAGE IS GENTLY SIMMERING IN A POT OF ‘I’M GOING TO KICK YOUR FUCKING ASS.’
THEN, WHEN DARCY’S ALL TALKED OUT, THIS LOOK AND THESE WORDS. AS LIZZY PREPARES TO GIVE THIS FUCKSTICK THE BURN OF HIS LIFE.
THAT IS A LOOK WHICH TELLS YOU SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN.
AND DARCY. HE KNOWS HE’S ABSOLUTELY FUCKED. LOOK AT THIS, AND DON’T TELL ME THAT ISN’T THE FACE OF A MAN WHO’S JUST PROCESSED THE WORDS HE’S JUST HEARD AND KNOWS DEEP DOWN HE’S ABOUT TO GET KICKED OUT OF THE BACK DOOR ONTO HIS FACE.
IN FACT, DARCY’S REACTIONS AS SHE TEARS INTO HIM IS A THING OF BEAUTY.
‘THIS IS… NOT GOING THE WAY I PLANNED’
‘THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT GOING THE WAY I PLANNED’
‘OKAY BUT SHE HASN’T TECHNICALLY SAID NO YET, I MAY BE IN WITH A CHANCE’
‘OH SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THE SISTER’
‘WAIT HOW DOES SHE KNOW ABOUT BINGLEY’
‘DAMN YOU FITZWILLIAM’
‘ALRIGHT FUCK IT, I DID FUCK UP YOUR SISTER’S HAPPINESS SO WHAT’
THEN LIZZY BRINGS UP WICKHAM
‘UGH FUCKING WICKHAM WHY DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THAT DUDE’
BUT LIZZY CONTINUES AND DARCY REALISES THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN BASTARD WICKHAM
‘OKAY NO, I HAVE ACTUALLY SEVERELY FUCKED UP’
SO HE TURNS ON HER
‘WELL YOU’RE POOR AND YOUR FAMILY IS SHIT SO WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THAT HUH’
THEN LIZZY TURNS BACK TO HIM WITH THIS LOOK.
AND DARCY’S REACTION.
THAT NIGGLING THOUGHT HE HAD DEEP DOWN THAT HE WAS FUCKED – THAT HAS JUST COME LOOMING UP TO THE FOREGROUND, WAVING A FLAG WHICH HAS THE WORDS ‘WE ARE DOOMED’ SPLAYED ACROSS IT IN ELEGANT REGENCY FONT
BUT LIZZY AIN’T FINISHED YET
BEAUTIFUL SUMMER SHINESHINE IS POURING THROUGH THOSE WINDOWS, BIRDS ARE MOST LIKELY TWEETING, THE LEAVES ON THE TREES ARE BURSTING GREEN AND LIZZY IS THROWING EVERY WORD OF HER REJECTION OF DARCY AT HIM LIKE THEY’RE NINJA THROWING STARS OR SOME SUCH SHIT
LOOK AT THAT LOOK. THAT IS THE LOOK THAT PUTS FLESH ON MY BONES, BEATS IN MY HEART, AIR IN MY LUNGS AND FOOD IN MY BELLY.
AND WHAT’S HIS REACTION? WHAT’S THIS FUCKER’S REACTION TO THE MOST SAVAGE REJECTION HE’S POSSIBLY EVER HAD IN HIS LIFE? AS A WOMAN, LIZZY HAS VERY FEW OPTIONS IN THIS ERA. HE COULD RUIN ALL OF THOSE OPTIONS, RUIN HER, BY HEADING OUT OF THERE AND TELLING EVERYONE HE MEETS ‘DON’T GO FOR THAT ELIZABETH BENNET SHE’S RUDE AND UNGRATEFUL AND THE WORST KIND OF WOMAN’ BUT—
HE LEAVES. THIS UTTER WANKER APOLOGISES FOR TAKING UP HER TIME AND NOBLY, QUIETLY, LEAVES, NOT FORGETTING TO WISH HER WELL BEFORE HE GOES.
And suddenly, that’s a glimmer of the good behind the pompous arsehole. He listens to Lizzy’s rejection, savage and filled with truth, and he writes a letter to her in response.
How very fucking British.
And precisely why my relationship with the 2005 film is so complex.
OKIE DOKIE SMOKEY IT IS TIME FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF ‘LISTEN TO VAL BECAUSE I HAVE IMPORTANT SHIT TO TELL YOU’ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES VERSION
literally people in edwardian england fighting zombies
I mean sam riley
in edwardian costume fighting zombies
honestly if those two sentences did not have your attention idek how to help you
not the most ground breaking plot but children listen to me
the proposal scene
the p r o p o s a l s c e n e
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BETTER REPRESENTATION OF THE WORDS FIGHT ME IN CINEMA BEFORE
the kisses in this movie were not pg-13 christ save me
I mean, good lord
these were some ‘their tongues dueled for dominance’ jaw-rotting motherfuckers
CONVIENIENT CORSET AND VEST RIPPING
I do not know which god I managed to please somehow but I intend to keep doing it. If this is hell serve me a fuckin’ margarita bartender I plan on staying for a long goddamn time
sam riley stomping around in edwardian leather jackets people come on
occasionally a zombie shows up
cersei lannister has an eyepatch and ninjas
I’m not joking ugh I don’t want to spoil it but I LITERALLY HAD TO PUNCH @florentinequill DURING THE PROPOSAL SCENE BECAUSE I WAS 95% SURE SHE FLATLINED AND WAS IN THE PROCESS OF DYING THERE IS A VERY SPECIFIC MOMENT DURING THAT FIGHT WHICH WILL END YOUR PITIFUL MORTAL EXISTENCE
I have never seen more ‘I hate you but suddenly I am finding you very attractive what is this weird boner’ looks exchanged between two people in such a short time what is going on
there were zombies somewhere in there idk
there’s a white wet shirt scene in tribute to Colin Firth, enjoy
Do you see any parallels between Zuko and Katara and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth? I think there are a few, especially with personalities
biggest parallels that the Avatar characters have are the flaws in the very
title of the book: Pride and Prejudice.
Iroh: Zuko, you must let
go of your feelings of shame if you want your anger to go away. Zuko: But I don’t feel any shame at all! I’m as proud as ever! Iroh: Prince Zuko, pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.
True humility is the only antidote to shame.
Zuko, like Darcy, is socially
awkward and hung up on his supposed superiority of birth. He has to learn to
look back his upbringing and follow his honorable principles with humility and
grace. However, while they are both determined people, Zuko is driven and aggressively pursues his
goals in a way that Darcy is not, while Darcy, despite his pride, has better
judgment and forward thinking than Zuko, especially initially.
Katara: You’re a terrible
person, you know that? Always following us, hunting the Avatar, trying to
capture the world’s last hope for peace! But what do you care? You’re the Fire
Lord’s son. Spreading war and violence and hatred is in your blood. Zuko: You don’t know what you’re talking about. Katara: I don’t?! How dare you! You have no idea what this war has
put me through. Me personally. The Fire Nation took my mother away from
me. Zuko: I’m sorry. That’s something we have in common.
Katara, based on her prior
experience, thinks that all firebenders are evil and that Zuko, being the
Firelord’s son, must be genetically predisposed to it. Her ability to learn
from this mistake is tested when Zuko betrays her, but in the end, she
overcomes her prejudices to befriend, trust, and fight alongside Zuko. However,
while Katara and Elizabeth Bennet are both masters of snark, Elizabeth is
better at hiding her feelings and soothing people’s potentially ruffled
feathers, to the point that poor Darcy has no idea she doesn’t like him.
Holy shit I’d forgotten how good the proposal scene is. This adaptation really plays up the Byronic in Darcy’s nature (it’s there in the original, I wrote a paper on it) and that scene is so damn capital-R Romantic.
Just found your blog through your P&P post and I really enjoyed it! I wanted to ask you about another P&P issue that has been bothering me lately: some people interpret Lizzy's opinion change towards Darcy happening due to her seeing Pemberley and liking it, i.e. she marries him because she realised what she would be missing if she didn't accept him. I feel it is quite a cynical interpretation and also incongruous with her character. What do you think? Would love to read your thoughts on it :)
“My dearest sister, now be serious.
I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know,
without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?”
“It has been coming on so gradually, that I
hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing
his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”
entreaty that she would be serious, however, produced the desired effect; and she soon satisfied
Jane by her solemn assurances of attachment. When convinced on that article,
Miss Bennet had nothing further to wish.
Prejudice, Chapter 59
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that
those who read a book about the perils of superficial judgment of character,
all too often find themselves behaving in a similar manner. There is more than
one such person who gamely alleges that Elizabeth Bennet married Darcy because
of his grand estate. Like Jane, I would entreat those critics to be serious,
for a true reading of the text would put the mercenary motive to rest, even if
there is a kernel of truth in Elizabeth’s facetious reply to her sister.
Elizabeth’s feelings for Darcy did indeed first
develop upon her visit to Pemberley, and all of them have to do with Pemberley
as a representation of Darcy’s character, rather than a representation of his wealth.
It was a large, handsome stone building,
standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and
in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but
without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely
adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature
had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an
awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that
moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!
Elizabeth has witnessed firsthand Darcy liking to have his own
way, even when his inclinations run roughshod over good manners and the
feelings of his friend Bingley. It is telling that he is able to cede
control to nature where it is merited. Darcy is not the tyrant Elizabeth once
thought him to be on his own grounds, where he has the most liberty to be one.
Elizabeth also has cause for concern about Darcy’s fixation on social standing. In fact, this prevents her from going further
along the path of regret at refusing him, when she thinks he will come between
her and the tradesman branch of her family:
“And of this place,” thought she, “I might have
been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted!
Instead of viewing them as a stranger, I might have rejoiced in them as my own,
and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt. But no,”—recollecting
herself—“that could never be; my uncle and aunt would have been lost to me; I
should not have been allowed to invite them.”
Imagine her surprise when Darcy
not only greets her aunt and uncle genially, but socializes with them and
invites them all to dinner. It is a sharp contrast to the man who thought
himself above his company when they first met:
That he was surprised by the
connection was evident; he sustained it,
however, with fortitude, and so far from going away, turned back with them, and
entered into conversation with Mr. Gardiner. Elizabeth could not but be
pleased, could not but triumph. It was consoling that he should know she had
some relations for whom there was no need to blush. She listened most
attentively to all that passed between them, and gloried in every expression,
every sentence of her uncle, which marked his intelligence, his taste, or his
The conversation soon turned upon fishing; and she
heard Mr. Darcy invite him, with the
greatest civility, to fish there as often as he chose while he continued in
the neighbourhood, offering at the same time to supply him with fishing tackle,
and pointing out those parts of the stream where there was usually most sport.
Mrs. Gardiner, who was walking arm-in-arm with Elizabeth, gave her a look expressive of wonder. Elizabeth said nothing, but
it gratified her exceedingly; the compliment must be all for herself. Her
astonishment, however, was extreme, and continually was she repeating, “Why is he so altered? From what can it
proceed? It cannot be for me—it cannot be for my sake
that his manners are thus softened. My reproofs at Hunsford could not work such
a change as this. It is impossible that he should still love me.”
Lastly, even though Elizabeth has
come to realize that Wickham gave her a false report of Darcy denying him a livelihood, the
suspicion is still in the air that Darcy might not treat those beneath him well.
After all, this was his reply to Elizabeth’s rejection of him:
“Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your
connections?—to congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition
in life is so decidedly beneath my own?”
Yet far from being an overbearing
master, Darcy is uncommonly civil to his servants. Mrs. Reynolds, the housekeeper, goes above and
beyond the call of duty to mention his virtues to Mrs. Gardiner:
“I say no more than the truth, and everybody
will say that knows him,” replied the other. Elizabeth thought this was going
pretty far; and she listened with increasing astonishment as the housekeeper
added, “I have never known a cross word from him in my life, and I have known
him ever since he was four years old.”
This was praise, of all others most
extraordinary, most opposite to her ideas. That he was not a good-tempered man
had been her firmest opinion.
“If I were to go through the world, I could not
meet with a better. But I have always observed, that they who are good-natured
when children, are good-natured when they grow up; and he was always the
sweetest-tempered, most generous-hearted boy in the world.”
listened, wondered, doubted, and was impatient for more.
“He is the best landlord, and the best master,”
said she, “that ever lived; not like the wild young men nowadays, who think of
nothing but themselves. There is not one of his tenants or servants but will
give him a good name. Some people call
him proud; but I am sure I never saw anything of it. To my fancy, it is
only because he does not rattle away like other young men.”
The sentences in bold are direct
contrasts to Darcy’s insulting and unexpected proposal at Hunsford, where she
saw the very worst of his pride and temper:
Elizabeth’s astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was
silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement; and the avowal of all
that he felt, and had long felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well;
but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed; and he was not more eloquent on the subject
of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority—of its being a
degradation—of the family obstacles which had always opposed to inclination,
were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was
wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.
Elizabeth then learns that Darcy not only has altered his manner, but that in his
own house and in familiar company, his cold exterior dissolves away. He is also
an attentive brother:
On reaching the spacious lobby above they were
shown into a very pretty sitting-room, lately fitted up with greater elegance
and lightness than the apartments below; and were informed that it was but just
done to give pleasure to Miss Darcy, who had taken a liking to the room when
last at Pemberley.
“He is certainly a good brother,” said
Elizabeth, as she walked towards one of the windows.
Mrs. Reynolds anticipated Miss Darcy’s delight,
when she should enter the room. “And this is always the way with him,” she
added. “Whatever can give his sister any pleasure is sure to be done in a moment.
There is nothing he would not do for her.”
To someone with a close
relationship to her sister Jane, this means a lot.
And finally, the willingness
Darcy demonstrates to change his ways and make amends clinches Elizabeth’s
growing regard for him.
“But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within
her of goodwill which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude; gratitude, not
merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to
forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all
the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been
persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental
meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate
display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only
were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on
making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride
exciting not only astonishment but gratitude—for to love, ardent love, it must
be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be
encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined.”
Pemberley is not merely an
estate in Pride and Prejudice; it is
a personification of Darcy himself. By visiting Pemberley and the nearby town
of Lambton and speaking with their residents, Elizabeth and her family begin to
understand Darcy in a way that was impossible before. No one is measuring the
drapes and counting the cost of Darcy’s chimney pieces; they are taking the
measure of the man through the environment he is responsible for and the people who happily live there.
OTPs who believe the other one is perfect in every way and refuses to let them talk badly about themselves and refuses to let them think that they don’t bring the sun out every morning are my true weakness.
Thanks a lot for answering my P&P question! I completely agree with you and I think that people who interpret Elizabeth marrying Darcy for money completely misunderstand the characters and the novel itself.
I have no idea why the subject is even up for contention. At times, Austen can be magnificently subtle. This is not one of those times.
“I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony.”
And it did.
Edit: Thanks to @absolute-cookie for pointing out that the above quote is from the BBC miniseries! In my defense, I looked it up on Goodreads, which listed it as a quote from Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Last time I’ll trust them!
Wedding Night Fic. Elizabeth is feeling justifiedly diffident about her wedding night, and Darcy is willing to do anything to put his new bride at her ease, with interesting, and slightly painful, results for all involved. Elizabeth x Darcy. Ignores mid-credit scene so technically AU. Implied Jane x Bingley.
to my friend @meabhd! after she drew me this incredible picture of wesley and buttercup (since my fav movie is princess bride), i thought i would draw elizabeth and darcy from her favorite movie, pride and prejudice. i also love this movie so much, so i’ll just add that to the long list of reasons méabh’s life and mine are eerily parallel…..