Repeat Watch: Pride and Prejudice (2005)
With Valentine’s Day a mere two days away, it would seem appropriate to cover one more romantic film before then. The 2005 rendition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful classic and a shorter alternative than the three hour long television series from 1995. It was directed by Joe Wright and written by Deborah Moggach. It stars Keira Knightly as the heroine Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as the famed Mr. Darcy. To its credit, the film’s supporting cast is also partially comprised of Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pike, Tom Hollander, Brenda Blethyn, and Judi Dench. It went on to earn over $121 million worldwide during its box office run and is critically considered one of the best adaptations of Austen’s beloved novel.
So, what qualifies it for a possible repeat watch for the week of Valentine’s Day?
1) The Score
I know it might seem like an odd aspect of the film to highlight in the grand scheme of things, but the score for this film is absolutely beautiful. Every piece of music digs into the emotions of the moment through Elizabeth’s eyes and highlights the emotional highs and lows she faces throughout the story. It is able to convey everything from her loss at Charlotte’s big announcement to her awe at viewing Pemberly for the first time. Also, the light, melodic piece that characterizes Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship highlights the sweeping romantic story found here.
2) Clever Dialogue
Some of my favorite parts personally center around the clever dialogue and quippy retorts scattered throughout the film. It’s a movie that requires you to pay attention and listen carefully as Caroline Bingley slights the Bennets and Lady Catherine de Bourgh makes her opinions known. However, Elizabeth Bennet is truly the heroine of the story in many ways, and her words reveal that easily. She is intelligent and quick-witted, and she is able to hint at the irony in every situation. Her honest conversations with Mr. Darcy are of course a highlight of the film, but in my opinion, it is her conversations with Lady Catherine de Bourgh that truly show off the wonderful writing found in this story.
3) The Themes
One of the endearing themes of the book is the title of the film itself, and the movie goes to great lengths to keep that running throughout the story. Elizabeth is blinded by her initial, unpleasant encounter with Mr. Darcy, which is only furthered by other developments. In the beginning, Darcy is also dismissive toward her because of her family and everything about her circumstances. Therefore, it is the breakdown of both of their prides that makes the story such an enjoyable one. Also, the movie still keeps the themes of social class, wealth, marriage, and the position of women in the forefront, which adds another layer of depth to the film.
While the film is only thirteen years old, the film has a classic feel to it in light of its original material. Keira Knightly certainly steals the show, and she brings another dimension to one of everyone's favorite literary heroines. A great deal of credit, though, must be given to those who cast the film because so many of these characters feel perfect thanks to those performances. If you’re looking for more of a classic romantic film, then this is one to add to your viewing list.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.