Jane Eyre Film Review

By Morgan Pettersson

After reading the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte recently I was excited to hear that a new remake was about to premier directed by Cary Fukunaga, and as the BBC were involved in the production in my mind it was sure to be period authentic and half decent. The latest Jane Eyre remake stars Australian Mia Wasikowska as Jane, better know for her role as Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and Michael Fassbender as Mr Rochester. Yet I came away from the film with a yearn for more, and after taking a while to reflect on the differences between the book and the film I realised there were a few vital mistakes.

Firstly anyone watching the film who had never read the book would have come away wondering as to what had just happened between the characters. There are so many deep issues discussed in the novel such as the different layers of love and lust, betrayal and abandonment and the search for identity that seemed to become lost amidst beautiful scenery and settings. Some scenes which were very important in the book and were instrumental to the character of Jane finding herself and her way in life were merely fluffed over in the movie simply because they lead onto another scene later on. This was evident in the scene where Jane returns to Gateshead Hall to visit her Aunt on her deathbed. In the book the time Jane spends at her old childhood home reinforces to her and the reader that she has moved on successfully from her harsh upbringing and that although her cousins had money and privilege they are not happy nor good moral people and she has made her way through the world much more successfully than they ever will.  The scene instead was rushed through and only seemed to be there to serve as a follow through for Jane to become a heiress on her uncles death.

Whilst I did not personally feel that the movie expressed the true depth of the novel, the casting of Wasikowska as Jane Eyre was perfect. She was able to convey the constantly changing emotions that flitted across the characters face without looking ridiculous. The casting of Fassbender as Rochester was also well done as he was moody, dark and unattractive enough to play the role of the mysterious master. Yet the spark between the two main characters never seemed to ignite in the way in which it should have and there never seemed to be enough plausible chemistry on screen. The sets and locations used in the movie were spectacular and really helped to give the dark gothic story a wonderful and moody setting.

This remake I believe was one of the better castings for the lead characters than in the previous films, although the passion between the characters never seemed to eventuate as much as it could have. The film felt slightly rushed with scenes merging into one another without the significance of each scene being fully appreciated, but beautiful locations and sets helped to make up for some of the errors of this production.

Jane Eyre the movie is based on the gothic novel of the same name written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847 and is one of three novels that the talented author penned in her life, and is the novel that has lead to her infamy. The novel centres around the main character of Jane Eyre as we trace the steps she leads through out her life and her many musings and thoughts and is thought to be a semi autobiographical look inside Bronte’s own life growing up on the wild moors of northern England.

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