Starring: Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
Running Time: 300 min. (5 hours)
In this lavish adaptation of Jane Austen’s classical romance, Elizabeth Bennett is a strong-willed yet sensible young woman whose father is a gentleman with a quite modest estate and whose uncle suffers in status from being a businessman in Cheapside. She has four sisters, a long-suffering but loving father, and a mother anxious to marry them to wealthy young gentlemen. At a local ball, she encounters one such wealthy young man, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy — and as Mr. Darcy is arrogant, cold and rude, it is hatred at first sight. As her older sister Jane falls in love with Mr. Darcy’s best friend Mr. Bingley, and her youngest sister Lydia flirts with anyone in a military uniform, Lizzie finds herself fighting off the attentions of the unctuous Mr. Collins and quite taken by the charming Mr. Wickham – who also happens to be an enemy of Mr. Darcy. However, as the characters succumb in many ways to pride and prejudice, Lizzie learns that not all is quite as it seems…and that Mr. Darcy might not be so disagreeable after all (from IMDB)
When I was in middle school, I remember staying home sick one day and deciding to watch Bridget Jones’ Diary. I had always loved Hugh Grant in the things I had seen him in, plus I heard it was really funny (the fact that I was 14 and watching a rated “R” movie, made me feel so cool too). In that movie, I was introduced to Colin Firth. It’s possible I had seen him in other things, but that was the first time I really SAW him. The next day, I get to school and start talking to my best friend Kayla about how awesome this movie was. I remember Kayla looking at me funny and then she started laughing. In between the giggles, she informed me of the A&E/BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, telling me I had to watch it. A few months later, I finally borrowed it from the library and I fell in love. With Elizabeth, with Darcy, with the whole story.
Confession: I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. Ever. I’ve tried. I keep trying every year, but I’ve never been able to finish it. Every time I re-watch this miniseries, I have a desire to try again. But I usually end up failing.
Even without reading the books, I continue to think this is the best adaptation for the book out there. The main reason for that is that it is a 5 hour mini series, instead of a 1.5 hour movie. The time gives the audience more time to get to know the characters and fall in love with the story even more. Though some may say that it drags on and on, if you’re a fan of period TV shows or movies, you shouldn’t get too bored.
The two leads of this series portray the perfect Elizabeth and Darcy. Jennifer Ehle has an air about her that is as Elizabeth as I can imagine. Though my favorite thing about her acting is the way she acts with her eyes. It takes a lot of talent to show that much emotion in your eyes. The emotion she shows in the moments she hears about Kitty and Wickham’s elopement is utterly heartcrushing. Especially when you add her conflicting feelings for Darcy as he walks in the room at that moment,it just makes you want to reach through the screen and give her hug.
As for Mr. Darcy himself, Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy. Not only has he played Mr. Darcy on two occasions (Pride and Prejudice & Bridget Jones’ Diary), but the way that he has played this character makes him a pop culture icon. He knows just when to let the pride of Darcy fall a bit to let Elizabeth in. Plus, you know… there’s this scene:
I’m not sure how one can NOT like him after that. No matter how many times I see other versions of Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth remains MY Mr. Darcy. No one has been able to hold up to his performance.
In addition to the beautiful performances by Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the soundtrack for this mini-series is so incredibly beautiful. It adds that feel to the movie that transports the audience to the right time. Which is very needed when it comes to period movies/TV shows.
Elizabeth Bennet: The more I see of the world, the less inclined I am to think well of it.
Mr. Darcy: In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.