Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review - ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen – BBC, Hollywood and the Book


Okay, so I’ve watched the 1995 BBC mini-series twice and the Hollywood version three times. My introduction to the story was the Matthew McFaydden/Keira Knightly version and I really liked it the first time I watched. It intrigued me and I ended up watching the BBC version, which is a little under 6 hours long, a month or so later. The Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version is by far the superior of the two movies and one of my favorite romances of all time. After watching the BBC version, I no longer really like the Hollywood one. 
I found the book for a quarter at a thrift store a while back and finally sat down to read it over the weekend. Though the writing is a little difficult to get into, after all Jane Austen wrote it in the early 1800s, I enjoyed the story as much as I do the BBC movie. I realized, however, that I might have had trouble visualizing a few scenes if I hadn’t seen the movies since the book lacked description at times. I learned quite a few things about the characters and felt better connected with them, however, by reading the source material. The movies cut little things here and there (Hollywood version cut A LOT) and the book helped piece together the characters’ personalities, especially the minor characters.
All in all, an average romance fan would probably enjoy the watered-down Hollywood version but it cuts so many plot points and rushes through the romance, drama and heartache. A true fan would probably adore the BBC version, even though it’s slightly different from the book. Sexy Colin in a wet shirt anyone? Other than that fan-fav scene, there are other little changes in the BBC version but they don’t really affect the story itself. The book, though, isn’t for everyone in my opinion. It’s a great book but it might be difficult to understand if you’re not a fan of literature or historical time-periods, or you haven’t seen any of the movies to better help you see what you’re reading.

So, my ratings are... 

Hollywood - 3 Stars
BBC - 5 Stars 
Book - 5 Stars 

My favorite version of the story - the 1995 BBC edition. 
Feel free to comment and let’s talk about P&P.

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