Review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre
8 10

PLOT : A meek governess, Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) bewitches her employer, Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Initially a cruel, dark-hearted man, Eyre is able to soften Rochester’s heart, but demons from his past threaten their future together.

REVIEW: Director Cary Fukunaga’s film of the Charlotte Brontë classic is a more faithful and conventional adaptation of the novel than the trailers suggest- with them selling this as some kind of gothic horror tale. One of the most prominent images from the trailer, featuring Mr. Rochester’s eyes going demonically black, is totally absent from the film, so take Focus’ dark and brooding ad campaign with a grain of salt.

Truth be told, I’m rather happy that this turned out to be a more conventional adaptation, as Brontë’s story is a timeless classic for a reason, and there’s no need to muck it up with a lot of hocus pocus. Conventional it may be, that’s not to say this isn’t a fresh adaptation, with this being at least as good as Joe Wright’s film of Jane Austen’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE was a few years ago. Director Cary Fukunaga, coming off his indie hit SIN NOMBRE, turned out to be an inspired choice.

He gives the film an intriguing, realistic look which is more than a little reminiscent of the Stanley Kubrick classic BARRY LYNDON. The grey English countryside has never look more sinister, and the cold, uninviting look of the Rochester Estate complements its master’s misery perfectly.

The two leads are also splendid. Wasikowska’s having a good run these days, and she’s makes a terrific JANE EYRE, with her giving her enough of a backbone, and a kind nature that makes it convincing when the hard Rochester begins to fall for her. For his part, Fassbender perfectly embodies Rochester- the cliassic Byronic hero. He joins a long list of actors that have made the role their own, with him comparing favorably to Orson Welles, which itself is quite a mean feat. It’s yet another role that proves Fassbender will likely be one of the biggest stars around within the next few years.

Dame Judi Dench also turns up as the somewhat daffy housekeeper, who’s sympathetic to Jane but also close-minded-enough to casually remark that she considers the rest of the household help “simple-minded servants”. It’s a juicy, colorful part, and Dench is a joy. The great Sally Hawkins also puts in an appearance as Jane’s cruel aunt, and her cold-blooded, near sadistic nature is chilling indeed.

All in all, as far as these literary adaptations go, JANE EYRE is one of the best I’ve seen in a long while, thanks to a modern, but faithful take on the material, and a fine cast. It’s quite a good film, and well-worth seeing even if you don’t normally go for this type of thing.

Source: JoBlo.com



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