Pride and Prejudice and Staring

So having memorized the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, in the process of rereading the book for at least the third time, and having recently read Pride and Prejudice and Kitties (I bet you thought I was going somewhere else with that “and”), I decided it was about time I watched the Keira Knightly version of P&P all the way through.

So first of all, let’s take a drink every time the scene stops to let characters stare.  It starts out with Elizabeth looking in her parents’ window and the girls peeking through a door.  The dance stops to stare at the Netherfield party.  And I know that the end has an awful lot of Elizabeth staring.

So far I’ve been impressed with the shortcuts taken to fit the book into a movie, but we’ll see how I feel throughout.  We’ve cut out some characters who were unnecessary too. I’m not missing Mrs. Hurst, for example.  I like the family talking over each other too.  It’s a lot more natural than everyone waiting for everyone to speak.

Jane is properly pretty in this, though it’s hard to beat Keira for looks.  She’s doesn’t feel as sweet as I expect Jane.  So far my favorite representation of characters is Mr. Bingley and Lydia (I assume it’s Lydia because it’s hard to identify the other sisters.  I’m not sure Mary’s in it at all).  Up until Jane is sick (where I am now), I’m finding Mr. Darcy characterless.  Caroline does not compare to her A&E counterpart, nor does Mrs. Bennet.  Keira’s doing pretty well as Elizabeth.

Oh, hey, Mary is in it, and I have determined that I was right about Lydia and Kitty.

Mr. Collins isn’t as absurd as I’d like, but the family’s reaction to him is great.

I’m enjoying Mr. Wickham.

Yes, if I had Keira Knightly in my sights, I wouldn’t let her out of them either, Darcy.

Ha, this discussion during the dancing is perfectly awkward.  And the Elizabeth-Darcy dance was also well done.

It’s the swing scene.  This is where I came in before.  If you haven’t seen it, Lizzie watches time pass by swiveling around on a swing.  I thought it came further back in the movie, which just goes to show you how much I absorbed of what I saw of the movie before.

Mariah Lucas was also cut, I see.  I think Charlotte is wearing a bird on her head in this scene.  Judi Dench is Catherine De Bourgh.  Casting win. Colonel Fitzwilliam seems to be have been kept simply to balance out the table.

Bam, Darcy bursts in without knocking!

Ah, Fitzwilliam is here to tell her how Darcy kept Bingley from Jane.  I like the A&E Fitzwilliam better.  But let’s be honest, I wanted to date the A&E Fitzwilliam.

The chemistry shots (dancing alone, almost-kiss lean) are nice, and I’m sure were appreciated by the modern audience in a way that P&P doesn’t really allow for in the text.

Stare at the mirror, Elizabeth.

I got distracted by the internet and laundry for a while.  I wonder how much staring I missed.  Now there are lights flashing, and, oh, Elizabeth’s eyes are closed, and now she’s standing on a cliff…with her eyes closed?  That doesn’t count as staring, Lizzie.

“What a snob you are, Lizzie.”  Ha!

Oh, hey, Mrs. Gardiner is Harriet Jones.  (“Yes, we know who she is,” you say.)

Not sure what all this statue staring is about, unless we’re impressed by the naked bodies?  Why isn’t this one naked? Lizzie thinks, as she stares at the bust of Mr. Darcy.

And then she thinks, It would have been so much better if I spotted him at his house fresh from swimming in the pond.

Okay, this scene where he meets her at the house definitely doesn’t compare to the A&E version, but “I’m very fond of walking,” “Yes, I know,” was pretty cute.

The Lydia affair is thankfully short.

Bingley pacing, trying to figure out how to propose, is adorable.

What was Jane looking at before she spun around on her bed?

Why is Lady Catherine visiting in the middle of the night?  “You have a very small garden here in the dark which I can’t actually see.”

I guess it was good we started the movie by listening at a door, since the family did so at every door afterwards.

Stare at the candle, Lizzie.  It’s good practice for the great stare-a-thon coming up.

Slowly walk through the field and across the bridge.  Turn to look at Mr. Darcy slowly walk for an entire minute.  I mean, it wasn’t even exciting walking.  He wasn’t walking with passion, he was just strolling through the field in her general direction (to declare his love for her again). To be fair, though, we don’t focus on her staring at him during this time as much as I remember.

Mr. Bennet’s line at the end was great.  “If any young men come in for Kitty or Mary, send them in.”

The end is so weird.  The dialogue seems so out of place.  It would be cute in another movie, I guess.

And so ends my play-by-play.  I had much drinking with all of Elizabeth’s staring.  I was drinking cream soda, so it’s about as exciting as Mr. Darcy’s walking for everyone but me.

Lots of love,