Hello, my beans!!!!
Great to know everyone is still pretending that I just fall off the face of the universe, and then casually say hi again! *eye twitchy smile*
Seriously, my posting schedule has gotten kind of ridiculous. I don’t even think I’m going to say my old favorite “i pRoMiSe i’Ll pOsT mORe fRoM nOw oN” because is it even true any more? Probably not.
Anyway, I’m done with saying the same thing in the beginning of every post I’ve done in 2020. I’m not going to lie (to be fair, I’m not lying on purpose. I really do trick myself into believing that I’m going to post more this time. Ah yes, being a procrastinator.) like I do at the start of every post saying “I’m going to post more” and “it won’t be like this forever” because, honestly? Who knows. Maybe it will be like this forever.
But you know what? Sometimes that’s okay.
Anywho. Let’s get onto into the real reason you clicked on this post.
The debate that’s raged on since 2005. Which one did better in the legendary book to film adaptation of the classic, Pride and Prejudice?
I have a lot of thoughts, to be honest. Recently I just watched both nearly back to back (I watched the 1995 miniseries on Tuesday through Friday and then that evening on the same Friday watched the 2005. Also I watched Persuasion that afternoon. A TRIP TO AUSTENTOWN. Seriously, it was like the best week of my life.)
But it got me thinking (and discussing with my mom and sisters) which one was better.
And it’s really not something I can explain quickly. Because, well, I’ll just explain it like this:
Elizabeth Bennet. She’s unique, charming, and fun, and yet so many girls can relate to her. She’s what every story heroine wants to be yet so few achieve.
I feel like Kiera Knightley was born for this role. She captures the fun loving, smiling, delighting-in-anything-ridiculous-ness of Lizzy Bennet. Her charm, wit, smile, thoughtfulness, kindness and passion made her truly a pleasure to watch.
Granted, I’ll admit I was having war flashbacks from all of the poorly written Spunky Heroines™ I’ve read in my years. I’ve almost come to dislike the trope because of the so many poor versions I’ve read of this. But I feel like my worries were not needed. It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed a sassy girl character, and it was so refreshing to see it done well.
But as much as I loved Knightley’s performance, I actually preferred Jennifer Ehle’s portrayal of the character. Her subtle, polite wit and reserved disposition actually made me warm up to her more quickly and I instantly loved her subtlety and introverted quietness, because I wished I saw more characters like hers. I wanted to sit down to have tea with her.
(and that my friends, is my gauge for how much I love a character. By how much I would enjoy sitting down to tea and a chat. For Elizabeth? She gets a 10/10 for the Chat With Tea Scale.)
Oh, sweet Jane. Her sweet personality and shyness made her endeared to me very quickly. Her sweet, two-idiots-in-love romance with Mr. Bingley was just too perfect. (Too bad Mr. Darcy almost ruined it.)
I really felt her heartache when Mr. Bingley left (dang Mr. Darcy (I’m just kidding. I love him.)) And I could just FEEL the aching love she had for Mr. Bingley. I UNDERSTOOD why she loved him. I wanted her and Mr. Bingley to get together only if it was just for Jane and how happy I knew it would make her.
And when she did finally know that he loved her back? UGH (ಥ ͜ʖಥ) Those joyful tears in her eyes make me want to shed a few myself.
Chat With Tea Scale? 8.5/10
And just as a side note, her relationship with Elizabeth is just the best thing ever.
I don’t have a lot of really angry opinions about either movie, except that every time I see the 2005 Jane anywhere my blood pressure rises about 10 points.
Good gravy. I did not like the 2005 Jane Bennet.
I am sure that the actress is a very nice woman and my criticism is not towards her as a person. Not at all. I just disliked her as Jane Bennet.
While Susanna Harker has such a uniquely British face and look, Rosamund Pike just looks too much like, well, a Hollywood actress. Her face doesn’t have any unique aspects and although she is an English actress, her features look very American. (Which of course, is not a bad thing, but just not what I want to see in a British movie.)
I read an interesting comment that once said that Susanna Harker looks more like what would have been considered pretty back in the Regency Era, with her more unique nose and face shape, and Rosamund Pike is leaning more on what is considered pretty now. I thought that was an excellent summary and probably explains a lot of the reasons why I didn’t like this Jane.
Her performance felt more bland and not as sweet and shy as Susanna Harker’s. We lost a lot of characterization and personality.
Glad I finally got that off my chest. It’s been percolating for a long time.
One thing I really loved about Talulah Riley’s Mary Bennet is how she made the character more…..likeable? She was still Mary, but she made the character feel more enjoyable. The small (even just seconds long) scenes she was given in in the 2005 version seemed to really round out her character and make her feel alive and real and made me kinda want to root for her?
And although they did have to move away a bit more from the book’s version of her by making her more……..emo? Would I be right in saying that? She ended up become a better character because of that, and for that reason, she still is a highlight of the 2005 version for me.
Chat With Tea Scale? 5/10
Lucy Briers’ portrayal of Mary was all right. She felt more like she was there only to be the butt of jokes (which, to be fair, is true to the book) to be like, “HA. HA. GIRL THINKS SHE’S SMART BUT SHE’S ACTUALLY NOT. HA. HA.”
And, that’s all right, I guess. Mary does not have a large role in the books or movies, so her character doesn’t grate on me and I still chuckle whenever her lines are said.
But it’s just that. All she’s there is to get roasted by the audience and she’s nothing more but a few good jokes.
And that keeps this Mary from shining.
Mr. Collins *shakes head* I don’t know if Jane Austen knew that after she wrote Pride and Prejudice that the name Mr. Collins would forever be the worst thing you could call your suitor (besides maybe Mr. Wickham) forever after that.
Let me get one thing straight: David Bamber NAILS Mr. Collins in the 1995 adaptation. His mannerisms, smile, acting, voice, and looks are just about as perfect for Mr. Collins as they come.
His character has a certain…….sleaziness to him that I really liked. He never did anything wrong, but for some reason he always seemed vaguely up to no good.
Chat With Tea Scale: 1/10
Now I feel like the Tom Hollander take on Mr. Collins was definitely different than the 1995 miniseries. He was less sleazy and more….. just awkward.
Which, I didn’t really like. It made him less eww-able and when that proposal scene happened? I almost felt…….*chokes on horror* sorry for him.
And I do not like feeling that way about Mr. Collins. Pride and Prejudice 2005 is full of the #MrCollinsDidNothingWrong propaganda (that my mom continues to try to circulate around our house) and I simply will not stand for it.
Comment below if you stand against this #MrCollinsDidNothingWrong mess and are proud to say it! (Please, I need supporters in this.)
Kitty Bennet, along with Mary, has the least page time/lines of the Bennet sisters. It’s difficult to decide what Kitty’s personality was like, because we’re given so little to work with. The book (and the movies hint) that Kitty is almost as silly as her sister Lydia, but not quite. I do like Polly Maberly’s characterization of Kitty in the 1995 miniseries, but it still feels a little unfair to compare the movie and and miniseries, because the 1995 version had a lot more time to take with its characters, including Kitty.
Chat With Tea Scale: 7/10
I still really liked Carey Mulligan in the 2005 version. She was childish and immature, but also fun and liked to laugh. Of course, since she’s considered “The Silly Sister” we’re not really supposed to like her, but whenever I’m reading the book (or watching the films) I just always loved Kitty. I can’t explain why, I just always loved her as a character. Also, I just really love the name Catherine.
AAAAAAND that’s where we’re stopping for today. (And yes, you do have to wait to see what I think about the Mr. Darcys.) There will be two more parts coming to round and rate most of the major characters along with my thoughts on filming and artistic design and then MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHICH ONE IS BETTER. (I’m actually really scared to say which one I think is better. People get rather intense about P&P remake opinions.)
This was only my opinion on the first five characters, and my opinions on each one vary so much I suppose you’ll just have to read to the end to get my true opinion on the casts and the movies/miniseries as a whole. I know this post felt extremely pro-1995, but keep reading! I have much to say yet!
Comment down here and tell me YOUR opinions on these characters and why you feel the way you feel about them! All I ask is that we keep the discussion on ONLY the characters (and their actors) mentioned in this post. We’ll have a chance to chat about other characters in future posts, but for this one, let’s stay with who was discussed! Talk to me, beans!
Also: Did you beans like this kind of post? I seemed oddly……calm and collected during it. Not so much insanity. (Well, I mean, it was calm and collected for me. This is still Penny we’re talking about.