For viewing number three I chose this Jane Eyre.It’s the 2007 Masterpiece Theater version. I’d heard good things about it and right from the start felt the gothic mood. There’s plenty of fog, bluish lighting, and creepy dreams. It’s an unrated 228 minute 2 disc DVD. This version sacrificed details for the sake of the gothic and the romantic.
In the first 10 minutes of the movie (I know because I was on the treadmill running–very aware of the time) Jane is thrown in the red room, sent to Lowood (if you hadn’t read the novel you’d be very confused about this part), sleeps next to Helen when she dies (no conversation about her Hevenly Father), and becomes a teacher who receives a response to her advertisement. Whew! It was a good thing I was already running and could keep up! After rushing through so much plot, I wondered how what was left of the story would fill two dvds, but it does.
Jane arrives at Thornfield. The mannor is beautiful as are the costumes. Adele is played by a teenager which makes her unchildlike behavior that much more awkward to watch. This portrayal has the French opera dancer leaving infant Adele in a basket with a note for Rochester. Disc 1 ends with Jane returning to Gateshead to see a dying Mrs. Reed.
Disc 2: The actors made the propasal in the orchard believable. The veil tearing scene is brief. Jane’s having a strange dream, wakes to see a candle being held close to her face and the scene ends. The after-wedding drama is cut short. I thought perhaps it had been skipped all together, but later Jane has a flashback when she has amnesia. Yep, amnesia. Jane Elliot is the name given to her by the Rivers sisters. St. John finds a sick Jane on the moor and carries her home.
The interactions between St. John and Jane are enjoyable. His proposal scene is cut short which was sad because I so enjoyed St. John. Sitting alone, Jane hears Rochester’s voice while she’s considering Rivers’ proposal. She does not call back to Rochester. The reunion of Jane and Rochester is sweet. He so desperately needs Jane that he cries when she returns to him. I got a little teary-eyed myself.
The back of the DVD case says: This lavish and sensual new version of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel is modern and moody, timeless and romantic.
College students, don’t try to cheat and watch this version thinking you’ll get away with not reading the book: many details are moved, changed, or omitted. Lovers of Jane Eyre, watch this version. The actors swept me into the story and even after 228 minutes, I wasn’t quite ready for it to end.