Thursday, August 4, 2011
I just finished watching Cary Fukunaga's take on the timeless Charlotte Bronte novel, Jane Eyre.
While Toby Stephens remains my favorite Edward Rochester, I have to say that Michel Fassbender comes a close second. Where Stephens' Rochester is this wild, tameless, beast, a man made crazy by the sins of his youth, Fassbender delivers a much more brooding, mercurial and bitter performance - a man plagued and haunted by (SPOILER!) his crazy wife and his honor. Both depictions, different as they may be, were wildly captivating, yet the difference of Toby Stephens' portrayal tipped the scale to his favor for me. Sorry Fassy, but there are way too many other brooding heroes out there. Ruth Wilson, on the other hand, has been kicked to second place by the wonderful Mia Wasikowska! Her quiet and subtle resilience translates so well on film. The range of emotion she is able to convey with just one look is enough to make me want to get down on my knees and apologize for the wrong that have been done to her in the past.
Another aspect of the film that deeply impressed me was how director Fukunaga and scriptwriter Buffini managed to condense this compelling drama into just 2 short hours. One of the main reasons I loved the BBC version so much is that there was enough time to be able to stay so close and respectful of the novel, and the 4 hour tv series did just that. However, to have stayed so religious to the book yet manage to condense that to half the time is testament to both Buffini's skill as a writer and Fukunaga's skill as a director. For certain, there will be scenes missed, yet nothing that stood out so much to be noted. Purists may also have something to say about the timeline, but I truly believe that by starting the movie with the older Jane, you are able to establish a deeper connection with her.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this adaptation of Jane Eyre and I'm sure we can expect great things from director Fukunaga, as well as rising stars Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.