Memorable, crazy movie
Excellent, Without a doubt!!
This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.
This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.
I first discovered this mini-series late one night, back in 2007, when I was still very young. I rapidly feel in love with this enchanting dark tale, which broadened my horizons to classical literature.With that in mind, this 2006 BBC adaptation is one of my favorite mini-series, based in one that has also became one of my favorite books. The acting is superb, with the actors delivering very likable performances, which allows the viewer to feel the love, between the main characters, grow (which I didn't feel at all in the 2011 Jane Eyre movie). The soundtrack, scenery, attention to detail and overall feeling of the show is spot on, which creates a beautiful atmosphere that suits the story very well. I've re-watched it several times over the years and I still cherish it just the same, thus recommending it vividly! It is, in my opinion, a very underrated mini-series that deserves more willingness to be seen and appreciation!
It's nowhere even near the book, the woman who wrote the screenplay read too many cheesy romantic novels, so she invented the whole story, the dialogue and presented it to us as "Jane Eyre", to attract viewers. The series start with some red cloth, waved at our faces for many minutes, are we in communist China? Then, some girl, sitting in a desert, fiddling with sand. What desert, what sand? There is no desert and no sand in "Jane Eyre". The, some silly scene with some painter, which is not in the book also. Due to the desert and the painter, the scenes from childhood were cut off, and one can hardly understand what ailed the girl - she was closed in some room where she stared at the portrait, and it seemed to be her main grudge (no illness, no breakdown). The next second, "Jane" opens her eyes, and she is in a luxurious bed, attended by a doctor. In the book, the aunt called an apothecary to save money on a doctor's visit. In fact, the doctor promises to return again, meaning the evil aunts pays for two expensive visits, that's how evil she is. When Jane tells the aunt how she feels, instead of being indignant at the aunt's lies, she sounds like a prim teacher, telling the older woman what to do and how to behave. One can barely stand not to slap the brat and tell her not to order others around. In Lowood, everything is skipped through, scenes look more like flashbacks. Jane's friend Mary sounds borderline imbecilic, instead of the smartest girl in the school. She also looks extremely righteous and self-satisfied. Thornton Hall does not look as a house of a wealthy aristocratic gentleman, but like some Gothic ruins, to enter which you must crawl almost on all fours into some dilapidated gate (surely a rich man could have paid to fix it). Inside, it's all ruins, too, in which a couple of rooms were cleared and some furniture was installed. Aunt's Reed's house is a real gentlemanly house, and she was nowhere near Mr Rochester in riches. Adele is portrayed like a cretin girl, interested only in clothes, jewels and presents. Mr Rochester is a self-satisfied creep, who knows that he has a pretty face but is constantly fishing for compliments. He is also constantly mentioning his 20K, in case the pretty face was not enough. Original Mr Rochester never mentioned the exact sum of his fortune, no gentleman ever would. Mr Rochester in series is also giggling all the time, like he is deranged, plays with Ouija board (the "real" one was an educated man and would have never stooped to such rubbish), and bullies and humiliates other people playing on their superstitions. But, he found his match in Jane Eyre. In a book, Jane was an educated woman and she was extremely modern, had a career, hobbies, dreams. In these series, she can't even educate Adele properly, who continues to wiggle and giggle. She, too, is fishing for the compliments all the time, playing the victim card ("I was not fed for eight years", "yes, sir, they didn't feed me", "yes, but remember, sir, I told you how they never fed me"). "Real" Jane had too much taste and tact to talk like this. She disclosed some of the abuse that went in the school when asked directly, but never went around with "woe to me, everyone was bad to me" look, permanently plastered to her face. The real Jane never shared a full story about her inheritance with Mr Rochester, the Jane in the series brags about it, to show off and to fish for compliment on her "generosity". She was judgmental, never did much but sketched something, left Adele entirely to her French bonne, and was preoccupied with the one thing only - how to attract a man. The actress is not plain at all either, though the blotched lip injections did disfigured her face, giving her lips a lop-sided look, with the upper lip constantly hovering over the lower one. Her female cousins, instead of being educated well bred women, talked at once and screeched like magpies, also giggled all the time God knows why, and could outgiggle Mr Rochester himself on a good day. The whole thing was turned into a cheap cheesy pseudoromantic farce. Poor author must be turning in her grave. I could never understood why people blotched books so. If the writer of the screenplay thought she was better than Bronte, she should have written her own screenplay, call it "An imbecilic governess captures a rich man" and produce it as a mini series, which, of course, no one would have wanted to watch. Instead, piggy riding on a great name, we are forced to watch complete and utter rubbish, which has absolutely nothing to do with the book.
Lovely camera work and long shots, but for all its four hours the production felt rushed and dumbed-down. So many compelling portions of the original story were left out, as if the directors and screenwriters thought the audience would get bored if they didn't push the story along. It felt like an on-screen Cliff notes for Jane Eyre. Wedding, crazy woman, fire, heroine jumps into carriage, rides, door opens, heroine collapses. Whew!Also, for as charming as Ruth Wilson is, with her slightly jutting lower jaw, her reading of her lines seemed hollow. Her Jane lacked the inner fire and will that Jane possesses in the book. Or perhaps the subtlety of her performance was lost in the swelling strings of the rather oily sound track, another annoyance that suggests the movie makers either didn't have confidence in their ability to tell the story, or didn't trust in their audience to appreciate it.
Seeing as Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is one of my favourite novels, I was eager to see as many adaptations as I could. And I really liked this 2006 version. It is I agree not the best adaptation, and it is not the most faithful, I do prefer the 1973 and 1983 adaptations, that were given a longer durations to develop the themes and the characters and they went at a more leisurely pace which was beneficial for the atmosphere I feel.However this adaptation, although some may disagree, is vastly superior to the dull Zeffirelli film and the too short, rushed and underdeveloped 1997 adaptation. Is this perfect? No. There were a few scenes that I didn't like so much. One was the seance between the rich people, which was lame and unnecessary. Two was the gypsy scene which is much more enjoyable in the book. And finally the scene on the stairs, which was ruined by trite dialogue.I also felt that although Andrew Buchan was good as he always is, very commanding as always, St John was too likable and too sympathetic here. The parts with Jane as a child were rushed in a sense as well, but compensated by the wonderful production values and the very believable acting from Georgie Henley, the girl playing young Jane.On the other hand, this is a beautiful-looking adaptation. Of the TV series adaptations, I think this 2006 one is the best photographed, and the costumes and scenery are equally striking. Thornfield has the essential Gothic haunting quality to it, which I appreciated. The music is never over-bearing or low key, instead it is hypnotic and authentic.The writing may lack the poetic prose of the book, there are some stilted and trite moments, but the adaptation does try hard condensing a very difficult book to adapt to screen. The results are not perfect by all means but considering what happened with the 1997 adaptation it could've fared far worse. The story is well paced and compelling especially the final episode which is unforgettable in every sense, with some suspenseful and beautiful moments throughout to make up for the few not-needed and not-so-enjoyable ones and an effort to convey the attitudes and conflicts of the times.Acting is great. Toby Stephens is perhaps the most handsome of all Rochesters, decide for yourself whether that's a bad thing or not, but he shows Rochester's characteristics perfectly. He is gruff, boisterous, charismatic and cynical yet also world-weary, subtle, nuanced and tender. Ruth Wilson is also perfect. She is delicate and plain, but her Jane is so poised and controlled it is easy to relate to her. I much enjoyed the support cast, especially Tara Fitzgerald, Lorraine Ashbourne, Pam Ferris and Francessca Annis. Adele is less annoying than she can be, and Christine Cole's Blanche is suitably haughty.Overall, a much better than expected if imperfect adaptation. I don't think it is definitive or the best adaptation, but it is a valiant one and worth seeing for the wonderful production values and superb cast. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox