"Pride & Prejudice" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
"Pride and Prejudice" tells the story of two people falling in love during a time where marriage is considered more of a business, rather than romantic. However, it seems that Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFayden) are the only two people in the world who don't care about business, and want to marry simply for love. Yet, when they both despise each other during their first encounter, it makes the viewer want them to be together more than ever in this 2005 adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel.
When I first watched this movie, the thing that I first noticed was the beautiful and breathtaking cinematography by Roman Osin. I think the movie could solely rely on its cinematography if the actors didn't hit their mark. Osin is able to craft these magnificent shots in such a way that it feels like you're going back in time to this period. It transports you into the movie, making you love every second of it.
But, who are we kidding? The biggest aspect of this film are the performances by Knightley and MacFayden, who I think do an absolutely wonderful job. Knightley portrays her character as a very head-strong and independent woman, serving as a role model for the female gender throughout the movie in a way. She doesn't have to rely on a man to bring her family fortune, but rather wants a man that she can love and grow old with.
Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy is such a brooding introvert that you can't really tell his true intentions for Elizabeth until later in the film. Many male characters that have appeared in romantic novels and films have each taken something from the Mr. Darcy character, and I would go as fas as to say that we would not have the same male characters in these romantic stories if not for one of Austen's most famous characters. I think it would perhaps be impossible for characters like Edward Cullen to exist without this very prominent figure in literature.
With that being said, MacFayden had some huge shoes to fill. He had to bring his A-game, which he certainly did throughout the entire film. He is very good at trying to act manly and menacing, but also show a more soft and sensitive side to him as well. You can see how Elizabeth brings out the best in him, and I think he wants that as well. He was tasked with playing a very interesting character, and I think he pulled it off flawlessly.
There is something about the romance in this film that is different from other movies and books in this genre. When Elizabeth and Darcy at odds with each other, the viewer feels suffocated in a way, hoping that our two characters will finally swallow their pride and pursue their feelings for one another. So, when they finally end up together, I felt a huge burst of unexplainable happiness that you rarely ever feel when watching a romantic movie. Sure, you can feel happy when the two main leads inevitably end up together, but this time is different. I'm not sure if it is due to the writing, the acting, the cinematography, or maybe a combination of everything. However, I am undoubtedly sure that this is perhaps one of the best period piece romantic films, and will remain that way for a long time.