Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pride and Prejudice 1995 VS Pride and Prejudice 2005

Pride and Prejudice - War of the Versions

Pride and Prejudice, the ever popular novel also remains to be the most frequently adapted story on screen. In this post I am going to compare the main characters in the two famous adaptations, Pride and Prejudice 1995 and 2005.

There is a difference between the two, one is a four part mini series which means approximately four hours of screen time while the other is a movie, about two hours long, despite this fact, we can’t help comparing the two. Let’s start then, on the left are the characters from the ’95 version and on the right, the ones from the ’05 version.

Kitty Bennet
Kitty Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
One of the younger Bennet sisters, she is rich in stupidity and non sense. The ’95 Kitty looked more sensible than she ought to be while the 2005 Kitty is just like her character in the book, giggling and stupid.

Mary Bennet
Mary Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
The philosopher Bennet sister, who loves to play the piano forte and give (unwanted) sermons. Now, have a look at ’95 Kitty, she looks murderous, also a moustache, just see. The 2005 Mary looks friendly, may be more pleasing and friendly than her character allows, but better than the previous one.

Lydia Bennet
Lydia Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
The stupidest Bennet girl and the youngest. Lydia Bennet from 1995 Pride and Prejudice looks older and too loud, even by Lydia-n standards. The 2005 version Lydia looks just appropriate, consistent.

Charlotte Lucas
Charlotte Lucas
Lizzy’s best friend, Charlotte Lucas. You see, ’95 version Charlotte has a hard time changing her expressions, you can’t deny that. She delivers all her lines in the same, mono tone. The 2005 Charlotte on the other hand, is more expressive than she should be and I think a bit too old for twenty seven.

Caroline Bingley
Caroline Bingley, Pride and Prejudice
The proud sister of Mr. Bingley. I have liked both the actresses playing Caroline, both in 1995 version and in 2005 version. Both of them are remarkably unkind and sarcastic, though the latter is prettier.

Mr. Collins
Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice
Noble and not-so-humble cousin of the Bennets. This is one character, I wonder how Jane Austen created something so terribly irritating. Every time I see a new version of Pride and Prejudice, I find him more and more annoying. The ’95 Mr. Collins wins the battle in this regard, he’s just nauseating, whereas the 2005 Mr. Collins is still manageable.

Mr. Bingley
Mr. Bingley, Pride and Prejudice
Handsome and rich owner of the Netherfield Park. I like them both, though the 2005 Mr. Bingley is shown to be a little more ‘chicken type’ and makes rumbling sound while laughing, which is all so not true.

Mr. Bennet
Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
The head of the Bennet house and the father of all beautiful girls. I really hate the ’95 version Mr. Bennet, he looks so unkind and thief like, in his own house, however, the 2005 Mr. Bennet looks like Lizzy’s father and has some charm to himself.

Mrs. Bennet
Mrs. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Probably the most restless soul in the complete story. Mrs. Bennet, similar to Mr. Collins, is super nauseating. I didn't like the 1995 Pride and Prejudice's Mrs. Bennet, she didn’t quite look like, you know, equal in rank, with the Bennets, she might have passed well as a house maid, a comical one. The 2005 Mrs. Bennet was really good, her expressions and panic and all those false tears, she did a good job.

Jane Bennet
Jane Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
The sweet and romantic girl, eldest of the Bennet sisters. No offence, but the ’95 version Jane was NOT pretty at all, just that she delivered her lines sweetly. How could anyone say that she was “five times as pretty as the rest”, (Lizzy lies, you know). The 2005 Jane was exactly Jane Bennet, shy and beautiful, romantic and sweet.

Mr. Wickham
Mr. Wickham, Pride and Prejudice
Handsome and hungry stranger, who flatters Elizabeth. I liked them both although they are very different but there is one thing in common-both of them are attractive. The ’95 version Wickham was a bit more mature than required but very gentlemanly, the 2005 version Wickham, Rupert Friend is more boy-like and agreeable.

Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
The bold and pretty leading lady of the story. Casting of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth sure did some good to the otherwise dim series, she is the saving grace of the ’95 version. The 2005 version Elizabeth, Keira Knightly is truly, deeply, completely, Elizabeth Bennet. Everything comes with a flaw so you can say that Keira Knightly was a bit more outrageous than the original character, but apart from that, she did really great.

Fitzwilliam Darcy
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
The all time heart throb, the most charming man that ever existed (if only in books) and the most agreeable of all partners, the character of Darcy has become that torch using which girls find their partners, sort of a must-have list (sorry for being over dramatic and stupid, you see what Darcy does to me). Finally, this is to declare that the 2005 version Darcy is the IDEAL Darcy for me, and always will be. I don’t know what makes girls go crazy after Colin Firth’s Darcy (is it something about those really clingy pants), I mean he is too rude, no charm (apart from money of course!). Mathew Macfadyen for Darcy, through and through!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did while writing it. There are bound to be clashes, of course, over the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice and the 2005 version, but we can’t help it, can we?

Do write to me about your pick out of these two versions, I won’t mind even if it’s the 1995 mini series!

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Hysteria (2011)

Hysteria is a movie about the invention of..ahem ahem ..the Vibrator. That’s a very bold topic to make a period movie on, but you can’t change the facts. The movie is directed by Tanya Wexler and stars Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones, among others.

Hugh Dancy as Mortimer Granville,
Maggie Gyllenhaal as
Charlotte Dalrymple,
So, this movie is about a young doctor, Mortimer Granville who is qualified and sympathetic to his patients yet not able to carve a niche for him. Mortimer (played by Hugh Dancy) lives with Edmund St. John-Smythe (played by Rupert Everett) as latter’s family support for him. Edmund is shown to be an inventor of some sorts, playing with gadgets and electricity generators.

The movie starts with ladies telling about their “problems” to Doctor Dalrymple, which he defines as HYSTERIA. Dr. Dalrymple (played by Jonathan Pryce) runs an elite clinic which deals with the ladies problems. What exactly he does to cure his patients, he gives them some “pelvic massage” (which until recently I didn’t know is suppose to be a doctor’s job). He is successful and is the father of two daughters, Charlotte Dalrymple (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Emily Dalrymple (Felicity Jones). While Charlotte is outgoing and all about the reform in women’s life, Emily is everything a good, decent and intelligent British girl ought to be.
Felicity Jones as Emily Dalrymple and Jonathan Pryce as Dr. Dalrymple,
Young Dr. Mortimer is out work, despite of trying at a number of clinics so one day he goes to Dr. Dalrymple’s clinic to work as an assistant. He soon masters the art of “pelvic massage” and clients start to pour in at the clinic. While things are going well at Dr. Dalrymple’s, his elder daughter, Charlotte is fighting for feminine causes and resettlement, and turns short of money. Dr. Dalrymple is shown to be quite against her inferior activities, on the other hand, he thinks very well of his younger daughter, Emily, even Mortimer starts paying a great deal of attention to her.

Busy schedules and burst of clients leaves Mortimer with a stiff hand and as a consequence, clients aren’t satisfied anymore. Dalrymple throws him out on account of an unsatisfied client and now again, Mortimer gets out of work.  Then what happens is the main plot of the movie and I am not going to spoil it for you. Though there are some things I would pen down here.

Rupert Everett as
Edmund St. John-Smythe,
Hysteria works well as a comedy, it’s not too loud, though exaggerated at some places. The opening scene itself sets the tone of the coming one and a half hour of comedy and the theme of the movie. About casting I would like to express my express disappointment, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Charlotte Dalrymple, not happening! She might as well have been Mrs. Dalrymple, I mean, look at her, no offence but she looks really mature and far too old to act as Hugh Dancy’s love interest. On the other hand, Felicity Jones, who looks like she isn’t going to shed her baby suit for years to come, looks like her daughter, not sister.  Hugh Dancy has done a good work, helpless and kind doctor, who finally falls for aunt Charlotte Dalrymple. Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal just, sort of spoils the whole period movie grace of the movie; you can be a social worker without being barbaric. Felicity Jones, didn’t have much to do or act, still she was nice in her tamed role.

Sheridan Smith as Molly the 'Lolly',
Molly the Lolly, was funny and has done her part well but then you have Mrs. Castellari, simply over acted the whole thing, and it was not funny. Another thing, I couldn’t understand why did the threesome, Mortimer, Dalrymple and Edmund put on their goggles before treating Mrs. Castellari with the thing, as if something was about to get spilled.

The movie has more highs than lows and can make a good watch for you and you won’t need to carry your brain. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

World War Movies

Top Period Movies of the War

I thought of making a list of my favourite Period Movies of the War since I am so keen on them. The subject of most of these movies remains to be World War II, because of the obvious brutality and the mass killing all over the world.

Anyway, these are my favourite war time movies which really get you as close to the war scene as you could go within the safety of your home and comfort of your flat screens.

Schindler's List (1993)

#1. Schindler’s List (1993) – I don’t have words to describe this movie, probably the best I ever saw, in all aspects. The movie has been directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in the lead. It is a long movie and the one which gives you creeps, showing the truest horrors of the Second World War. A must watch for everyone who has the slightest inclination towards cinema or war movies. Mind you, it’s very disturbing.

Downfall (2004)
#2. Downfall (2004) – The movie is about the last days of the devil Adolph Hitler, as seen by his last secretary, Traudl Junge, in his Berlin bunker, at the close of the Second World War. The movie is directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and stars Bruno Ganz and Alexandria Maria Lara in the lead. It gives an honest picture about the whimsical last days of Adolph Hitler and how he decided to commit suicide alongwith his mistress, Eva Braun. A movie very well directed and worth watching.

The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)
#3. The Diary of Anne Frank (2009) – A classic, one of my most favourites. I have already posted about The Diary of Anne Frank in one of my posts. The story is about a young thirteen years old girl, living in hiding during the Nazis Holland occupation. It stars Ellie Kendrick in the lead, as Anne Frank, although she is not a known name in the industry as yet, she did a great job in this series. The last scene of the series, as I have already mentioned before, is remarkably well directed, without any dialogues, conveys everything. Catch it!

#4. Nuremberg (2000) and The Way Back (2010) – Here’s a tie between Nuremberg and The Way Back, both of which are super good.

Nuremberg (2000)
Nuremberg (2000) is a movie about the war crime trials committed during the World War II, with the Nazi defeat. It is directed by Yves Simoneau and stars Alec Baldwin in the lead. Though nothing brutal has been shown in the movie, but it does give an account on the consequences of the war and the crime committed by the Nazi.

The Way Back (2010)
The Way Back (2010) is a movie about a group of convicts who escape the Russian Gulag during the World War II and walk 4000 miles to find their freedom across the Himalayas. The movie has been directed by Peter Weir and stars Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, in the lead among others.  To tell you the truth, it is quite surprising and inspirational, all along the way. The ensemble of cast has done a great job.
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
#5. Enemy at the Gates (2001) – This movie is about the battle of Stalingrad during the World War II, where two snipers, a German and a Russian indulge in a battle of skills. The movie is directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and stars Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in the lead. It’s an excellent movie, though a little deviated at times from the central war theme, and more bent upon skills of two people alone, it makes a great watch still.

This was just a brief something about my favorite movies; do tell me about your favorites. As we are on the topic of World War movies, there are some other movies I would like to mention here:

  • The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas
  • The Courageous Heart of Irena Sandler
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • My Boy Jack
  • Defiance
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Valkyrie
Again, I love comments so feel free to post some!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen (2008) is TV miniseries which is loosely based on Jane Austen’s ever popular novel Pride & Prejudice. The story is written by Guy Andrews and directed by Dan Zeff. It stars Jemima Rooper, Hugh Bonneville, Gemma Arterton,Tom Mison, among others.
Lost in Austen (2008)

The story begins with Penguin Classic PRIDE & PREJUDICE in view along with the famous opening line delivered a bit differently, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that  … we are all longing to escape..”. The protagonist, Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is a young woman working and living in London, and of course an ardent Pride and Prejudice fan. She reads the book and suddenly starts imagining Austen’s world, as is the case with most of us, Austen fans. 

Morven Christie (as Jane Bennett)
 and  Jemima Rooper (as Amanda Price),
Lost in Austen
One day, while reading the book, she hears some disturbance in her bathroom and finds out, to her immense surprise that Elizabeth Bennett has somehow entered into her flat. Miss Bennett points out a door and tells her that it was through this door that she found her way. Amanda Price climbs through the door to the other side, which is, Longbourn, Bennett’s place. The door then shuts up and Amanda gets stuck in Pride and Prejudice plot. Everything that follows is a platter served with confusion, characters, chaos and of course sprinkled with lots of comedy. Look out for the one liners because they are funny. Especially, Mr. Bennett’s (Hugh Bonneville) lines are full of sarcastic wit, my favorite.

Hugh Bonneville
(as Mr. Bennett),
Lost in Austen
In the first episode, the plot is set and progresses a bit too. I think of it as the best of all the four episodes. You get the taste of the great confusion coming in the consequent episodes, here itself. The second episode brings along Wickham. He’s cute (and ought to be cute, I wouldn't have liked him any other way) I am sure, but Bingley (Tom Mison) is definitely the cutest of all (at least by my standards), but you’ll find that Wickham is full of GAIETY. The good thing about this miniseries is that, though its four episodes long, the story never loses pace; there is always something up and coming. In the third episode, well, there’s a cut on entertainment, I think. It definitely helps in the progress of the plot but a little dull on entertainment. Don’t think that I am describing the story plainly, there’s a lot to say actually but it would all be spoiler. There are a number of one liners that I would like to quote here and scenes I would like to describe, but it will ruin the story for you, so just keep your patience and read along. The fourth and the final episode, the “things” don’t seem to get settled until at least the very end – an end designed with good deal of imagination and beauty!   

Tom Mison (as Mr. Bingley)
and Elliot Cowan (as Mr. Darcy),
Lost in Austen
Jemima Rooper has done a great job as the shocked, out-of-place yet helpful girl, Amanda Price. One could even say that at many places throughout the series she has carried the scene away on her shoulders alone, despite of other characters. As always, Hugh Bonneville has done amazingly well, the character with the best lines and has delivered them with full justice. The rest of the ensemble has done a good job in keeping the series in good fun. I know I must not write it all, but I am really itching (although ladies are strangers to the itch) to give some of my opinions which are sure to delight you yet ruin the series watching for you, still –

Wittiest Character- Mr. Bennett
Most Handsome -    Mr. Bingley
Most Beautiful -      Jane Bennet
Most Evil -              Caroline Bingley
Sweetest Couple (ever) – Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennett              
Queen Bee -           Amanda Price

I was a little disappointed in Darcy, until of course I witnessed the line in the scroll, which wiped out all the demerits, if only I could tell you what was written.
Amanda Price and Darcy, Lost in Austen
So, that’s about Lost in Austen, very nice, well written and comic TV series to watch, especially if you’re an Austen fan. The best part of the series, the “unspoken assumptions” behind Jane Austen’s story. I would suggest you this one, all ages and moods and I know most of you would love it, just like me.

Do tell me how you liked it.