Reviewed by Candace, age 19, California
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
For a young filmmaker, Cary Fukunaga did a really impressive job. The characters' costumes were historically true to the time period, as were their speech patterns. The film's general atmosphere was stormy and dark, which was appropriate since most of the novel is about human suffering, whether physical or physiological.
Jane has always felt lonely. Her aunt Mrs. Reed doesn't love her and neither do her spoiled cousins. Jane is an orphan, and since Mrs. Reed no longer wants to take care of her she is sent to a boarding school. Despite the horrid conditions, with girls dying of sickness with hardly any food to eat, Jane manages to survive and make a friend along the way. Once she is of age, Jane leaves and becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall. She is a tutor to a child, Adele, and falls in love with the owner of the house, Mr. Rochester.
The greatest strength of the movie is that the characters are all perfectly cast. Mia Wasikowska becomes Jane - shy, quiet, but iron willed. Michael Fassbender is excellent as Rochester. From the very moment he appears on screen he is moody, stern, and unpredictable. Like Rochester, he shows through his eyes that he can also be softhearted.
However, there are some aspects of the movie that I thought could use improvement. Jane Eyre starts out as a flashback where an older Jane is running from something, then transitions to the beginning of her childhood. The movie continually goes back and forth. I've read the Charlotte Bronte novel at least five times and it was still hard to keep track of the plot. It would be very confusing for a novice.
The buildup to the climax of the movie seemed to drag, and the ending was a bit rushed. Fukunaga also left out some of the comical parts in the novel. I can understand why - as a filmmaker he must make certain decisions. However, I do believe that the only way to give Jane Eyre complete justice would be to film it as a TV series, like the BBC did for Pride and Prejudice. Jane Eyre should be five or six hours long so every pertinent moment can be captured on screen. However, Fukunaga did an astounding job, especially for a first time director.
Jane Eyre receives four out of five stars.
Note: Jane Eyre is expected to be available on DVD in August.