Review: Pride and Prejudice (2005)

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“Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony.”
– Elizabeth Bennet

SYNOPSIS: Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? – via IMDB

So I went through a stage where I literally just binged on everything Pride and Prejudice and then just never published my reviews. Shame on me, I know. I was wary of this because while I love the story, there is Keira Knightley. I was seriously hoping she would pull this off the same way she did Atonement, but alas, there was no such luck in my cards. I didn’t dislike her in this as much as I usually do, and she seems better suited to period pieces than other things.

I feel that some of the cast members were just not right for their roles. Donald Sutherland never really grasps Mr Bennet, and never truly embodies that snark on screen, or the relationship between him and Elizabeth. Pity, too. Obviously I have my issues with Knightley, too, to be sure (I just don’t think that she was the perfect choice), and there was something quite off with Rosamund Pike’s portrayal of Jane. Oh well, those are the biggest offenders, I think. There was some amazing casting, too. I think that Macfadyen was a great Darcy. He embodied that pride, that calm and superiority, and he was unflappable, which is great. Brenda Blethyn’s Mrs Bennet correctly made me squirm in my seat and feel immense amounts of embarrassment for those girls, too – so tacky! I thought Kelly Reilly was excellent as Caroline Bingley, as she truly was horrible and snobbish and a total bitch, so well done. Jena Malone, too, nailed that immensely selfish brat Lydia.

There were parts of this movie that I absolutely adored (I am looking at you, hand into the carriage scene!). I also particularly enjoyed all scenes featuring Charles Bingley and Jane, as Bingley is so adorable around her, and they are a sweet couple.

I feel that there were some issues with the pacing – a big part of this was Mr Wickham being introduced and sped off of screen within two minutes, and yet he is such a large part of the main story, so you never really can understand Wickham being such an issue between Darcy and Elizabeth, and he is quite an important character. I also felt that this movie hardly captured the humour of the book, and came across as far too serious. There were moments I smiled, for sure, but for the most part this went for full on drama. Pride and Prejudice does have some truly beautiful sets and some great costume design and a score that suits it perfectly, and that does help you slip into the story and the characters and the time more. The dialogue was also quite loyal to the book, which I appreciated.

Pride and Prejudice is indeed a solid adaptation of its novel. There were some hitches with the cast and the pacing, but it is still well worth a watch, something I can see myself revisiting in future. The story is a classic for a reason, and does have a timeless love story between two characters you cannot help but love and root for. Worth the watch.

Rapid Review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire (2013)

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catching fire poster

“I agree she should die but in the right way. At the right time. Katniss Everdeen is a symbol. We don’t have to destroy her, just her image.”
– Plutarch Heavensbee

SYNOPSIS: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. – via IMDB

catching firecatching fire chariot

GRADE 8.5So I strolled myself and my themed nails into this film, incredibly excited as well as wary over what it would hold. My biggest worry came in with Sam Claflin to play the ever detectable Finnick Odair. Was he up for it? Just oh my and wow yes. This movie worked on so many levels and completely thrilled me. It was also very loyal to the book. There were no boring moments that had me begging for the time to just hustle up already, and I was awed by the manner in which Francis Lawrence pulled this together. Philip Seymour Hoffman was fantastic in his role as Plutarch Heavensbee. Elizabeth Banks was finally given a lot more screen time, and built up Effie’s character a lot. Woody Harrelson is ever entertaining as the pisscat Haymitch, and played the drunken fool so well. The anger that burns within Gale is portrayed so well by Liam Hemsworth, and his whipping had me at the edge of my seat, even though I was expecting it. The relationship between the victors was shown and it captures the essence of their anger and betrayal at having to be sent back into their nightmares. Jennifer Lawrence remains a phenomenal cast for Katniss Everdeen, and the movies really manage to take away that totally annoying part of her character that the books brought in at the best of times. The arena was simply fantastic, and all the actors cast to play the victors and tributes from the various districts were so well done, and completely captured everything. Jena Malone is definitely someone to highlight from the lot. Sam Claflin gave Finnick the epic upper hand and I am pleased to say that he got me to believe in his abilities. He isn’t a bad actor; I was just so worried that he would not have the energy Finnick does. I am pleased to say that my worries were unfounded, Finnick remains my favourite character, and Claflin does him justice. Catching Fire far outstrips its predecessor, and is well worth the watch! I was so impressed with this movie, and if they can conclude the final two movies in this strain, this will be one of those absolutely great film series! (Can I just hem hem here at the Potter debacle…). Tom, let’s sound like gushing schoolgirls!