Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beyond the Chick Flick

An insightful discussion of the ongoing appeal of Jane Eyre, by the brilliant Carolyn Moynihan at MercatorNet. (And I'm not just kissing up cuz, like, she's my editor, or anything. I had actually read the whole thing before I realized she'd written it.)

I must admit that when I heard there was yet another film version of this book, I literally groaned. Really? Does this story need to be done 24 times? But after reading this review  by Ronan Wright (also on Merc), I very much want to see it.

One of the film's strengths is the pacing. Not too rushed but slow, steady and patient. As the tempo and intensity of the story quickens and the secret that haunts Thornfield Manor is revealed, the film maintains its rhythm. Built on the suspense created by the script, never allowing the exchanges to be rushed or to feel forced, the dialogue has a very natural feel to it. It draws you in so that you want to inhabit the scene with the characters, to lose yourself in the quietness of Thornfield's shadowy corners, to embrace the film's rich and textured austerity. The stillness of the moors and the difficulty of Jane's situation at Thornfield echoes the restlessness of her conscience as she struggles against her feelings to do the right thing. This tension within Jane and between herself and Rochester is almost tangible throughout.
"There's a temptation nowadays to want to sex things up", says [director] Fukunaga, "to make it cutting edge and somehow be different just to be different. It's harder to be simple, it's much harder, much more challenging. In some of the longer dialogue scenes, the fireside chats, which are really the centrepiece of the story, I found myself doubting my original goal which was to be simple; 'just put the camera down and let these great actors do these scenes'. It almost didn't feel naturalistic just to sit still, our attention spans these days are so short, it's so hard just to let things be and that's what I wanted to do."

No comments:

Post a Comment