Heather's DVD Movie Review: Jane Eyre
Is it possible for a movie remake to make a longer lasting mark than its previous versions? In the case of the DVD release of Jane Eyre, the answer is definitely a resounding yes. The story may be familiar, but it's definitely better the latest time.
Jane Eyre followed the newly oprhaned Jane (Mia Wasikowska) on her complicated journey from a depressive youth to a passionately reserved adult who never knew what it was like to be loved. She was cast aside by her cold Aunt (Sally Hawkins) in a boarding school and was forced to be shunned by everyone, except a fellow outcast who died from an illness. This relationship and the loss forced Jane to bury her feelings for fear of getting hurt. Enter a new job opportunity as a governess to a young girl who could only speak French. Her only interaction was with the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) and she was intrigued by her own surroundings at Thornfield, which was owned by an Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Mr. Rochester was a mysterious, moody and secretive man who seemed to have given up with life, until he crossed paths with Jane. Suddenly, he was drawn to her and looked for ways to interact with her. A marriage proposal soon followed, but it was revealed that Jane's love was harboring a huge secret that threatened to destroy them both and pushed her to someone else (Jamie Bell). Can Jane forgive the man she loved or be forced to live without him?
In terms of plot, Jane Eyre's was based largely in part to the original source material from Charlotte Bronte's classic novel. It excelled the latest time because of the modern intensity between Wasikowska and Fassbender. The previous 1996 version was mixed with too much gloom and doom to make a lasting impression. Most of the audience was already familiar with the overall story of Jane because of being forced to read the story in an English class on more than one occasion. What made this version so unforgettable was how the story seemed to take great pride in building the relationship building between Rochester and Jane. The match seemed unlikely due to their class differences and a looming secret of Rochester's that was hidden inside Thornfield. Wasikowska made her version of Jane a mixture of plucky rebellion and an extra measure of vulnerability after having her heart broken for the first time. Her biggest scene was when she allowed herself to cry openly by herself in the rain. Her eyes welled up and her whole body shook uncontrollably. It nearly killed her and the audience to watch their romantic heroine suffer so much.
In regards to her leading man, Fassbender has officially arrived this year in one of his breakout performances of 2011. He gave Rochester an extra hint of brooding and swagger to make audiences see why Jane fell for him. Fassbender could almost make audiences forget of Colin Firth's portrayal of the equally romantic Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice if he saw fit. Almost being the operative word.
Verdict: A familiar story that excels with the off-the-charts relatable chemistry between Jane and Rochester.
DVD Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: PG-13
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)