Sep 6, 2011

Movie: JANE EYRE [1996]

Director: Franco Zefirelli
Writer: Charlotte Brontë (novel), Hugh Whitemore(screenplay)
Starring:  William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Anna Paquin

[SPOILER ALERT] Detailed review

You all know the story about books being adapted to the big screen. In 99% of the cases, the movie is not as good as the book and it doesn’t capture the essence.

In this case, and in my opinion, I have to agree to the majority. As much as I loved the Charlotte Bronte’s novel, it’s characters, the story, the scenery, I have to say that I hated the screenplay, the cinematography on the 1996 adapted version.

The first thing I noticed is the fact that many details are wrong or put in different order, so different that it changes the story. How can Franco Zeffirelli pass so fast through Jane’s childhood, how can he not properly recreate the moment between the little girl and miss Reed, or mix the dialogue so much that they use some parts in different context(for example, the discussion about uglyness or the incredible change of St John Rivers’s story line).

The second thing regards the dialogue, of which I spoke before. It is wonderful that they used the original novel as a source and quoted many important parts, but everything seemed so rushed, so fast, you couldn’t even focus on an important scene before passing to the next. A perfect example is the end of the movie and the quick change from love, to running away, to enheriting the fortune, to returning to mr Rochester.

Regarding the actors, I actually liked William Hurt much more then Charlotte. He was far more expressive and interesting than her, although I must say that Jane Eyre is, indeed, a very plain, simple, unexpressive person, so I guess she did justice to the role, but I would have liked more passion from her.

It is a good movie, but for the recent reader of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, it can be underwhelming. 

Soon, the post about Jane Eyre, the 2011 version!

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