Pride and Prejudice

Hard to believe a month has already passed, it is that great time again, when we discuss the books-to-movie challenge for the month.  This month was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Okay, I have to admit I am unable to choose a favorite between the two versions of the film, the 1995 BBC mini-series or the 2005 feature film version. I love them both for different reasons. The mini-series I love for its close following of the book and wonderful portrayal of the absurdities of all the characters; the film version for its sexual tension between Elizabeth and Darcy and the beautiful cinematography of the entire film. That being said, I love to discuss and compare the two versions, so let’s get started.

So the first thing to pay attention to, when reading and watching is the character Mr. Darcy, which actor/film has the better Darcy?

I have to admit that I am torn between the two Darcys. When ever someone mentions Mr.Darcy I immediately think of Colin Firth.  The first time I saw the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice I was in high school, my mother had seen one section of the mini-series on television and immediately ordered the complete collection on VHS (yes, I realize this is dating me). I got the great idea that I would watch one section of the series each night for a week, at four am the morning of the first night I finished the last episode and was finally able to go to bed.  I have found out that I am almost physically incapable of just watching one section of the series, if it is on TV I have to get my copy out to finish it before I can go to sleep.  For this reason, Colin Firth and the BBC version will always hold a special place in my heart.  That being said, I find Colin Firth’s Darcymuchmore autocratic and lordly than I find Matthew Macfadyen’s Darcy.  Matthew’s Darcy, in my opinion portrays the book’s Darcy better.  Distant and standoffish because of shyness and an inability to be comfortable in society Matthew portrays the Darcy of the book better. All right readers, let me know who you vote for, Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?!

The next question, which couple do you like better, Jane and Mr. Bingley or Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy?

When I first read the book I immediately loved Elizabeth and Darcy as a couple, their witty comments, their loving each other against their will and their eventual coming together I relished and relived time and again.  Now, having watched and read the story so many times, I am coming to appreciate Jane and Bingley’s relationship more and more. Their quiet admiration for each other, their silent suffering because of other people’s actions and their final joy is the less obvious great love story to be found in Pride and Prejudice.  Which couple do you like better?

Finally, and in my opinion the most important question, favorite scenes from each versions?

This one is a toughie for me, there are so many great scenes in both films, like when Darcy flexes his hand after assisting Elizabeth into the carriage in the film version, or when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth in the mini-series. But after careful deliberation (because obviously this very important question had to be answered) I decided on my favorite scene from each version.

In the mini-series version my favorite scene is when Elizabeth and Darcy run into each other at Pemberly, after Darcy has proposed and been rejected by Elizabeth and she has read the letter he wrote to her explaining his actions.  The extreme awkwardness and embarrassment of both is so pivotal to breaking down the walls they have built between the two of them and leading to their eventual reconciliation.

In the film version my favorite scene is when Elizabeth and Darcy are dancing together, the scene begins with the room full of people with Elizabeth and Darcy speaking in the middle of the dance floor.  As the conversation progresses, all of a sudden it is only the two of them in the room, dancing alone and focused on each other.  It feels as if the world has fallen away and there is only the two of them, an incredible visual reflection of their relationship, how it doesn’t matter what is going on around them (Lydia running away with Whickham and Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s disapproval) they only have eyes for each other. Do you have a favorite scene?

I could go on and on about what I love about both films and the secondary characters (the two Mr. Collins and Judi Dench as Lady Catherine De Bourgh) but I think I will leave it here. Let me know what you think and if there is something I absolutely should have mentioned and failed to comment on.

4 Replies to “Pride and Prejudice”

  1. Hi. I just read the book and had to ask myself, “why didn’t I read this sooner?” I didn’t realize I was missing out on one of the most romantic books of all time. The book made me laugh, cry and even feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
    I haven’t seen the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, but I have seen clips on YouTube and I am anxious to see it. I love Colin Firth and I know he will not dissappoint me.
    As for the 2005 P & P movie, I totally loved it, even though it was different from the book. Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy was perfect; not to mention he is so handsome. That is what I pictured Mr. Darcy to look like. I also loved the chemistry between the actors Matt and Keira. They had a strong connection and brought the story to life for me. I would have to say my favorite scene is the “Dawn” scene, or the second proposal. When Darcy walks to Elizabeth from the mist, with such a strut, the music and her reaction makes me melt inside. And I love, I love, I love when they put their foreheads together and close their eyes. I think the fact that they don’t kiss makes the scene even more powerful. At that point, you know they are in love.

  2. Hanna,
    I highly recommend the BBC version but realize you probably won’t be able to stop once you start (I know I can’t 🙂 ). I also love the “Dawn” scene where Darcy struts across the field, I would have to say that is my second favorite scene in the movie (although the scene where Elizabeth is crying, unable to talk about the letter she received from Jane, and Darcy keeps sitting down and popping up is also one of my favorites).

    Jessica

  3. hey!, i recentely saw pride and prejudice (the movie) and fell so much in love with it, i instantly researched more on it and read parts of the book and saw parts of the miniseries . i realize the mini series is more like the book but cant help feeling the more emotional version is the movie!!! first, because matt plays darcy much more warmer than colin firth, who makes darcy much more colder… so, to the first question: matthew makes a better darcy!!!! 🙂 to the second: elizabeth and darcy are the better couple because of their tempers and the emotion they add to the story!!! favorite scenes: i have to agree to whomever said the scene in the movie when darcy flexes his hand!!! so simple and yet i felt so excited while watching that scene, then of course, when he proposes, then when they meet again in pemberly and finally when they meet right at dawn, because both couldnt sleep because of each other… and darcy stutters when saying i love you… omg!!! so very very well done… excellent movie!!! i want to own a version and see it over and over again.. so, thanks for letting me jump in and express myself… good day everyone!!!!

  4. I to love this movie, could watch it over and over again. Colin Firth is a wonderful actor, but his Mr. Darcy is not as believable as Matt’s. One of the many scenes I enjoyed, is at the end where she takes his hand and kisses it…wow

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