This past week I had the opportunity to sit down and watch an advanced screening of Jane Eyre (2011). The main reason that I put the year behind the title is because there are many different renditions of the classical book that was written in the 1800’s. This book has had movies made from it in 1934, 1943, 1996 and now this one. I had watched the trailer and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from all of this. The trailer seemed to advertise this as a major drama and I’m not going to say it wasn’t but I wasn’t sold. I was just hoping that it wouldn’t have a lot of slow areas throughout the movie. I will admit that I haven’t read the book and I don’t necessarily plan on it either. Not having read the book beforehand I had no idea what the complete storyline was.
Jane Eyre follows a girl name Jane, played by Mia Wasikowska, who flees the house that she works in. She was a governess for the wealthy Edward Rochester who is played by Michael Fassbender. Jane didn’t have the best childhood but she eventually found solace and ended up in his house. As she reflects upon the people that she has met in the past couple of years she realizes how it has defined herself as a woman. She now has to act properly to preserve her self image and come to terms with the past that haunts her. While Jane is working for Rochester she finds herself having certain feelings towards him. Those feelings at first were that he was cold and heartless, but then eventually they lead to her loving him. The real question is how is she going to handle the terrible secret that Rochester has been keeping from her all this time.
The acting throughout Jane Eyre is pretty good. Like I stated earlier Jane Eyre is played by Mia Wasikowska. Mia has recently been in The Kids Are All Right and Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed her in The Kids Are All Right but not necessarily in Alice in Wonderland. I felt like she did a very good job at being genuine throughout the entire film. The movie also stars Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. Fassbender did an excellent job at portraying the cold and heartless master that he was, yet later he had plenty of emotion. I really enjoyed Michael Fassbender in his past roles in 300 and Centurion, but of course his most recognizable movie is Inglourious Basterds. Another movie that I’m really looking forward to from him is that of X-Men: First Class. He will be playing Magneto in that one. The person that Jane finds after she flees from Fassbender’s character is St. John Rivers. Rivers was played by Jamie Bell. I don’t really know a whole lot about Bell except that he was in Billy Elliot.
Jane Eyre was great in terms of cinematography. Some of the lighting and angles of the shots were incredible. I didn’t really expect it to be that wonderful, but it actually helped me out a lot more than I thought. When I was getting bored in some of the slow parts I was able to focus on the lighting and shading in certain shots and it brought me back into the movie itself. There were a few of the shots that were at such a wide angle and up in the air while Jane was walking across open fields that were fantastic looking.
Alrighty, lets jump right into my thoughts on this movie. Keep in mind, like I stated earlier, I haven’t read the book. Some of the confusion that I have towards the storyline or thought process might become more clear if I had read it. Jane Eyre is a obviously a classic love story that is from quite a long time ago. I keep being told that there are two different love stories throughout this movie, and both are clearly present in the film. The first is clear as day and the other doesn’t quite become clear until later in the movie. That brings me to my second issue, after the certain events that unfold how can you still love someone after you find out that they have been covering up such a big lie to you. If you have read the book or seen the movie you’ll understand that last sentence. I guess I’m just confused on who in their right mind would fight through things like that.
To draw the Jane Eyre review to a close I just want to sum up a few key points. It seemed like the story was dull and boring. I think the length of the movie could have been the main contributor of the dull and boring. It was a two hour movie that felt like they could have cut some time. When it came to the acting, it was genuine but still seemed to leave a stale feeling of not being able to connect to them. There was no draw to like or dislike each character. There were a few laughs here and there but not many. I found myself laughing a few times when everyone else was in ah or shock. Sadly, even though this is a classic story I don’t find myself recommending it to anyone who hasn’t read the book. Almost everyone who was at the screening that had read the book, liked the movie. So I guess if you have read it you might like it.
Jane Eyre – 6.5/10