Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Well, I finally received my copy of Jane Eyre, and I can only say that it is far better the second time around. And I hadn't thought that possible.

Part of that opinion is based on the interruption of my three niece-monsters running around, hollering, playing, and generally being children while I was trying to watch a very serious, relatively quiet, British film the first time through. The two cancel each other out, surely. But part is based on having read the book between times and found that, surprisingly enough, the two are each works of art in their own way.

Admittedly, the movie doesn't go into as much detail on the crushing, grinding wretchedness of Jane Eyre's childhood. The poor child was at her happiest when she was most neglected. For her, attention from others almost invariably meant torment. When children were dying in droves at Lowood, the powers that be finally let those not dying alone to do as they wished. In the midst of all of that death, Jane Eyre began to enjoy life.

This is the irony of her existence.

But other than that -- and please don't mistake me; I don't mean that as a criticism, as I could tell well enough from the movie that her childhood was wretched -- the movie has its own magic that more than echoes that of the book. It clarifies it. Makes it easier to grasp, to hold in your hand. When Jane Eyre smiles, you can't help but smile back, but when she weeps....

And as for Mr. Rochester....

Well, all I can say may not be terribly complimentary, but I mean it in the best possible way. If they ever make a Vampire Hunter D live-action flick, they'd damn well better cast either Hugh Jackman à la Van Helsing or Toby Stephens à la Edward Rochester as the title character. Otherwise, I will refuse to watch it on general principles.

And I think I'd like Mr. Stephens better. He has that brooding quality, that quiet nobility of the soul. And yet, when he is impassioned -- either raging or pouring out his love -- he is all that is fire, all that burns. Excellent portrayal.

This is perhaps one of the best movies I've ever seen. All 228 minutes of it. And please, do not get me started on the scenery. I'll bore you to tears!


At 12:18 PM, Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, yay, I'm so glad you got your copy!! It's beautiful, isnt' it? And the monsters still talk about it.


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