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Jane Eyre – Review

Jane Eyre Review

By Katie Maitland-Gleed


I chose to see this film in case I ever have to study the book for school, plus, I thought some culture would make a change! I knew the bare bones of the story and |I was looking forward to the costumes and the dramatic scenes with the ‘mad woman’ and when the house burns down.

Firstly, I found the opening 20 minutes rather jumpy – not having seen the TV adaptation either, I had a bit of trouble working out where she was, who she was and why she was where doing what! Those in the know will be fine. I thought the young Jane played by Amelia Clarkson did look quite like the older Jane played by Mia Wasikowska, so that was a good bit of casting, and Michael Fassbender as Mr Rochester was suitably good-looking, although apart from Sally Hawkins and Jamie Fox, the only name I really recognised was Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax – and she’s ALWAYS good.

Thornfield Hall (Haddon Hall in real life, which has been used previously for this location), was well chosen for being impressive yet bleak at the same time, but I didn’t feel that the Director – Cary Fukunaga, suceeded in teasing the audience with hints of the ‘mad woman’, and the anticipation could have been made much better. Valentina Cervi who plays the first Mrs Rochester was certainly not overworked! The bad treatment that young Jane was supposed to have received at both Lowood School and her Aunt’s house wasn’t put across as well as it could have been, and the trauma of the death of her friend passed by without much significance at all. Again, Fukunaga could have emphasised her suffering a bit more.

I also feel that more could have been made of the relationship with Adele (played by Romy Settbon-Moore), who seemed to fade into the background as soon as the underlying ‘chase’ began between Jane and Rochester, and for the film, she merely served the purpose of of why Jane rocked up at Thonfield Hall in the first place then kind of got forgotten about – I felt a bit sorry for her!

I realise this story is a classic, written by one of our own best talents of the time, and there is clearly so much more detail in the book than could ever be squeezed into a 2 hour film, and I also realised looking around the audience that this film’s appeal isn’t really for a younger audience on the whole, but by far my greatest disappointment, after waiting 2 whole hours, was that there was no mega house-fire scenes (other than the bedroom drapes), no mad woman leaping from the roof, no life savings or in fact any of the exciting drama that I had been promised by my Mother!! Perhaps the budget couldn’t stretch to all that?

All that being said, the scenery was very dramatic and the desolation of the moors was impressive, and for avid Bronte fans, then this is well worth a trip to the cinema, but I give this film (and I won’t really be sorry if I don’t have to do the book at school – I’m obviously more of a Dickens girl!).

Categories: Film Reviews
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