Pride and Prejudice
Directed by Simon Langton (1995)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★★★
I’m on a P&P roll (read my review of the 2005 film here and the novel here)! Fully knowing that the 1995 television serial is universally considered as the ultimate and best adaptation of Jane Austen‘s classic romance story, I immediately ordered my copy and eagerly awaited for it to arrive. From the start I can say that, hands down, this series lives up and even exceeds the overwhelming critical acclaim already bestowed upon it; there is no better adaptation so faithful, so true to the material. It is 5 hours and 35 minutes of pure bliss, magically transporting the audience to beautiful, breath-taking 19th century England.
Colin Firth is said to have defined the character of Mr. Darcy, and it is justifiably so. His handsome and initially hard, cold features that eventually begin to break down through the course of the entire series is so enjoyable to watch. And Jennifer Ehle – I have to admit, at first I didn’t think her very pretty; Keira Knightley‘s performance was still fresh in my mind – as Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, is so striking and enchanting; her mature beauty drew me in. It wasn’t long before her performance became the definitive portrayal of the character. I loved the feel of maturity, the more sensual sense of the characters (compared to the 2005 film), which I felt much more appropriate to that particular time period. This is a romance story of the highest degree.
I really hate to compare this series with the film. As I said in my film review, each is different and splendid in its own manner; but as much as I tried not to, upon my view and completion of this adaptation, my memory of the film was literally and completely erased (save Keira Knightley, who I still think did a marvelous job). Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s portrayal by Benjamin Whithrow and Alison Steadman respectively was so convincing that no matter how hard I tried, I failed to conjure up the image of the Bennet parents in the film. That just demonstrates how strong the acting is by the entire cast.
No amount of words can describe just how much I enjoyed revelling in the enchanting journey that took me through the romantic and dramatic escapades of the Bennet family and their acquaintances, all set upon London’s gorgeous backdrop. There is no doubt that I will revisit again and again, the wonder enticed by this television serial. Five stars and more.