Based on Jane Austen’s 1813 classic novel, the film Pride and Prejudice (2005) is a romantic story about an 19th-century British family called the Bennets. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have the problem of five unmarried daughters. As soon as the grandest property in the neighborhood is “let at last” by an eligible bachelor, they are in a frenzy to pursue him for one of their daughters and complications ensue from class tensions and misconceptions.
This film has some of the most breathtaking sweeping landscapes out of any movie I’ve seen before and since its release. The casting of Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins was ingenious. Rosamund Pike as Jane, Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Bennet, and Judi Dench as Lady Catherine de Bourgh all gave great portrayals of their novel characters. The production and costume design was very nice and had a very cohesive color palate. There were also some very clever time-lapse editing transitions (look for the swing scene).
I really like Keira Knightley, she is the queen of the period drama as she can rock the sexually repressed woman who pushes the limits of propriety as well as she can restrictive period clothing. However, she was no Elizabeth Bennet. Knightley gave such an inconsistent performance that once, when she was giving an interview around the time of the film’s release, when the interviewer praised her performance she responded by essentially saying it was hard for her to watch herself in it. When I say inconsistent I mean she was really good in the scenes where she was telling Darcy off, and when she was fawning over Wickham, but less so in the scenes when she was supposed to be in love with Darcy.
Funny, that she happened to be dating Rupert Friend (Wickham) in real life at the time, so when it came time to act like she was in love with Matthew Macfayden (Darcy) and accept the marriage proposal, the acting fell flat. Not sure if the fault lies with the casting or acting, but it might have been smart to not have a semi-real life love triangle on the set for the most epic love story of all time. Especially when it depends on Elizabeth ultimately having more chemistry with Darcy than Wickham.
Carey Mulligan and Jena Malone did good renditions of Kitty and Lydia Bennet; however, their insufferable giggling and running around took their novel description too far. Or perhaps it wasn’t taking it too far, and you simply just needed beer to listen to it on screen because it was so damn annoying.
It could have been a lot better had Knightley been more consistent, but overall it was a great film. The beautiful imagery and lighting alone are enough to make me want to watch it more, but lots of the acting is very good too.
Take a Drink: every time there’s a landscape shot
Take a Drink: every time someone bows or curtsies
Do a Shot: every time the younger sisters giggle (just kidding don’t, you won’t make it ten minutes)