I made my choice. I started with this version of Jane Eyre.
Oh, friends… I liked it. I liked the casting. I liked the scenery and costumes. I even liked how the story started with Jane collapsing on the steps of the Rivers’ home. I liked the use of flashbacks (some extended) to fill in the viewer. I think Bronte could have taken the same path. It was a dramatic way to start the movie: gothic even. It allowed the viewer to see the highlights of Jane’s childhood: Aunt Reed’s cruelty, Lowood, and Helen Burns. Didn’t you have the feeling that the story really began with Jane’s arrival at Thornfield anyway?
If I had any criticism, I’d say there wasn’t enough Bertha. The veil-tearing scene was cut. I watched it in the bonus features of the DVD… on mute… with one eye closed. It was scary. But I think it should have been included. I also wish the screenplay included the relationship connection between the Rivers siblings and Jane. The uncle dies, leaving Jane an heiress and that’s that. She shares the wealth because she cares for her friends, not because they shared an uncle. I suppose the St. John marriage stuff could have been dragged out a little bit too. It was hasty. But I won’t focus on the negatives. All the good parts were included.
One thing I noticed in the movie is that after the failed marriage attempt, Jane tells Rochester that he’s deceitful, and it hit me that years ago Aunt Reed had told Mr. Brocklehurst the same thing about Jane. Of course Aunt Reed was lying, but it hurt Jane deeply. Remember at Lowood Jane was wrongly punished for her alleged deceitfulness? In the novel, Miss Temple clears Jane of the untruthful reputation. In the movie, Jane’s never found innocent. In both print and film, Jane is always truthful. I understand how deception would wound Jane terribly. Watching this scene I heard myself say a thoughtful, “Hmmmmm…” So, now I must write in my WEM journal that truth and deceit are reoccuring themes in Jane Eyre.
Have you seen this version of Jane Eyre (2011)?