Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb
mamadeb

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Persuasion and other rants

Before I go off on the main rant for this morning, I want to say that I'm about to hit Rodney McKay citrus allergy overload. And I feel a rant on that subject coming on, but I'll do my best to avoid it.

But here's the main rant.

Jane Austen's Persuasion

Masterpiece Theatre is, apparently, playing new versions of all of Jane Austen's works. Tonight's, and the first I've seen, was a 90 minute production of Persuasion.

And I hated it. A brief summary of the plot of the book goes like this - 8 years ago, Miss Anne Elliot was persuaded to not marry a young naval officer. Now they're in each other's company again, and although there are others who wish to marry them, it all ends well. And, yes, this is what happens in the movie.

However - not only is most of the wit and language gone, they made Anne this dull, plodding wallflower through out the movie. Yes, those of you who read the book know that, at the advanced age of 27, she'd lost her "bloom", and was considered plain and dull in the beginning of the book, but by the middle, when they're at Lyme - she's back to being pretty and vivacious. Mr. Elliot, her conniving cousin, would never have courted her in Bath had he not been struck by her there. She had a handsome older sister who was equally available and would have been far more amenable to his attentions.

But in this film, that never happens. She remains dull and unregarded except when she proves to be more practical (and medical) minded in emergencies than anyone else. She spends a lot of it crying over the fact that Wentworth seems to love someone else - even in a scene where in the book she was proud she'd maintained her countenance.

I'm also bothered by pacing details - in less than a week after their meeting and her injury, the "someone else" - Anne's brother-in-law's sister - manages to fall in love with and become engaged to a man who was still grieving after his own lost love. And there's no reason for it. Time can pass with a word and a phrase in a film. "We've been here for two months, and Anne has been with Mr. Elliot almost every night of it."

And, well, little details. Anne's friend Harriet Smith is presented as an invalid with a nurse, but Anne literally runs into her in the street. And...well. A lot of charm doesn't happen for a particularly charming book with a grown-up romance in the center.
Tags: jane austen
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