It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a producer in search of a good fortune, will try to adapt Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But if you need proof, then look up the number of adaptations that this story has inspired!
If you’ve read my last post, you know that I loved the book Pride & Prejudice – a little too much maybe. But even that is putting it lightly. Truth be told, I was obsessed! So naturally, I re-read it, several times. And then I did the next best thing – check out the screen adaptations – and boy were there a few of those!
So today I am going to do quick reviews of the 3 adaptations of this classic, that I have seen. I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have seen them too. Or any others that you recommend. Well, outside of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yeah, no. Let’s not go there.
Bride & Prejudice (Featuring Martin Henderson & Aishwarya Rai)
I have to say this before anything else – this is NOT a real adaptation. Yes, there are many parallels that can be drawn, but it is, at best – a very watered down version of the classic. It is more like a drop of Pride and Prejudice in a tub of water – that’s the amount of dilution.
Moreover, in this one, there is this whole Indian/Foreigner angle, which essentially turns it into something else altogether. Not a bad plot line at all, but not Pride and Prejudice.
And as handsome as he is, Martin Henderson is no Darcy ( to be fair, I need to mention here, that in my mind – there is just ONE Mr. Darcy, so no one else would work anyway, but we will come to that later).
As far as the rest of the cast, I believe they got the basic character sketches right, much better than the next adaptation that I am going to mention. Also, peppy Bollywood numbers are a definite improvement over stuffy balls (though there are far too many of them).
OVERALL – It is a decent one-time watch, but not a true adaptation. So if you don’t mind a diluted/altered version, as of this writing, this one is available on Netflix in English (streaming plan), and it’s always available on Amazon here – Bride and Prejudice.
Pride & Prejudice – Movie (2005) ( Featuring Matthew MacFadyen & Keira Knightley)
This is the first thing that pops up on google if you try to search Pride and Prejudice adaptations, and Matthew MacFadyen will come up as Mr. Darcy, which I feel is SO unfortunate, because I really disliked this adaptation in so many ways!
The irony here is that while this is more of a true adaptation than the earlier one I mentioned, they have done a horrible job of translating it on screen – they tried to copy the content, but butchered the essence of the story.
The character sketches are not true to the book – the most annoying alterations were to the lead pair – Lizzy was shown as this overly giggly, yet tomboyish character (though Keira Knightley acted well); and Darcy – ugh! – I am sure that Jane Austen must have turned in her grave seeing Matthew MacFadyen cast as Mr. Darcy. He doesn’t look the part, nor can he act!
There was only one thought in my mind – Make it stop. Make. It. Stop. Tell the bad man to go away, someone – please!
OVERALL – Don’t watch this version of Pride and Prejudice. Just don’t do this to yourself. But if you have rebellious tendencies, this one is also available on Netflix (streaming plan), or you can get it on Amazon here – Pride and Prejudice Movie. (Just know that you have been warned.)
Pride and Prejudice – BBC Mini Series (1995) (Featuring Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle)
This is as good a time as any to mention this – there is just ONE Mr. Darcy, and it is Colin Firth, in the very BEST adaptation of the classic – the BBC mini series.
This mini series by BBC consisting of 6 episodes of 50ish minutes each, is I believe, the gold standard for book to screen adaptations – not just of this book, but any book.
Admittedly it has almost 6 hours of run time, which enables it to faithfully translate the story to screen, include all the plot twists and turns, and also retain Austen’s dialogues.
But really, there is so much more to love – perfect casting, great acting, and Colin Firth! Yes, I know, I have mentioned him earlier, but he is worth mentioning again – just look at him!
If you haven’t seen this – GO WATCH IT NOW! You can thank me later!
It is available on YouTube (as of this writing), or you can always get it on Amazon here – Pride and Prejudice BBC Mini Series. (This one is worth buying to keep it in your collection.)
Have you guys watched any of these adaptations? Or any others, outside of these three? Do share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
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