Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Pride and Prejudice

Box Art of the Special Edition
My mother was the one that introduced me to Pride and Prejudice. She had the DVD, but one time it was on PBS's Masterpiece Theater, and we watched all five hours over a couple of weeks. The series is made up of six episodes, and each episode is about 50 minutes long.

Mrs. Bennet is trying to marry off her five daughters. When the rich Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood, Mrs. Bennet is determined that he marry one of her daughters. Mr. Bingley takes an interest in Jane, the eldest daughter, while his friend, Mr. Darcy, offends Elizabeth, Jane's sister.

The cast did a marvelous job. Jennifer Ehle plays the sarcastic, lively Elizabeth Bennet as if Elizabeth Bennet herself came forth from the book and acted in this miniseries. She speaks with the intelligence and wit that Jane Austen wrote into Elizabeth.

I think it's safe to say that Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy. Not only does he look the part, he acts it too! His look and attitude conveys pride throughout the first half of the series, but then there is more to his character in the second half. I thought he played Mr. Darcy really well.

Stereotypically, it might be assumed that an adaptation would be full of stuffy language that no one can understand in our modern world, and that nothing ever interesting happens in them; this stereotype is obviously wrong, and Pride and Prejudice is the proof. The language is lively and is said with animation by the whole cast. Between Mr. Bennet sarcastic remarks, Mrs. Bennet's silliness, Mr. Collins's pompousness, Mr. Darcy's pride, and Elizabeth's wit, all of the cast performed well.


Pemberly, Mr. Darcy's home
 BBC is known for having really great scenery for their period dramas, and Pride and Prejudice does not disappoint! The manor houses are beautiful. The outdoor scenery is fresh and green. You get plent of opportunity to see the outdoor scenery. Elizabeth takes plenty of walks in Pride and Prejudice, so you get to see a variety of areas. The outdoor scenes are not only restricted to Hartfordshire, but also when Elizabeth and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner travel to Derbyshire. The Derbyshire scenes afford views of cliffs, forest, and pleasant roads. The manor houses themselves are a marvel to behold; the outside gardens are nicely decorated, and the inside is very well furnished.


 The costuming is beautifully constructed and decorated, and they suit the personalities and class of the characters wearing them. The rich are dressed in more expensive and elaborate clothing, while the middle class of Meryton have more simplier clothing.

Miss Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet discuss Mr. Wickham
at the Netherfield Ball. Notice the difference in their clothing.

What's amazing is the way the costume crew was able to dress different characters in the same class according to their differing personalities. Appropriately, the rich Bingley sisters and Lady Catherine are dressed in rich colors and fabrics. I also noticed that with their dresses, they seemed so extravagent that they seemed gaudy, which would be appropriate for those characters who are very snobbish. In contrast, Georgiana Darcy, who, while rich, is described in the book as being shy, is dress in nice clothing that is elegant, but that which is more simplier and not gaudy. The costuming was well done here depicting people of similar class with appropriate clothing, but their clothes still matched their personality well.

The people of Meryton are dressed in less expensive clothing, but by no means are they poor. They are still dressed well, but their clothing is not as fancy as the Bingley sisters. I actually prefered the dresses of the Meryton women then the dresses of the rich women; I loved the simplicity of the dresses of the Meryton women. A personal preference, perhaps, but back to the original point. When you compare, for example, Elizabeth Bennet's Netherfield Ball dress with Miss Bingley's, you immediately recognize that Miss Bingley is richer even if you never seen Pride and Prejudice before. Elizabeth's dress is a simple cream color with a simple print on it. Miss Bingley's dress, on the other hand, has two different contrasting colors and a decoration going toward the waistline. However, viewer's might perfer Elizabeth's dress to Miss Bingley's because Miss Bingley's is, shall we say?, overdecorated. Much was said just from their clothing that would have been otherwise spoken in a whole minute.


Pride and Prejudice is a satire and a romantic comedy. The music tracks range from hilarious moments (for example, when Mr. Collins arrives at Longbourn), to serious moments (example: Mr. Darcy's letter), to romantic moments (example: Mr. Bingley's return).

The dance numbers are happy and bouncy (the exception being Mr. Beveridge's Maggot danced at Netherfield ball, which is slower paced and smooth). The dance numbers are, unfortunately, not included in the CD of the soundtrack. The soundtrack is available at

Overall: 5/5

Elizabeth in Derbyshire
This is my favorite miniseries! The five hours that make up this miniseries allow the plot to unfold neatly and properly. Watching this miniseries is very close to reading the book (which makes it a great companion to reading the book). There are some minor differences, but they are not too big that they change everything. Pride and Prejudice is well acted and beautifully displayed. It is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, and has recently been remastered.


  1. I LOVE this movie. It's my all-time favorite, I think. Truly delightful. I was so glad to see you give it a great review. (-:

    PS. I'm sorry to hear the dance numbers aren't on the you know of anywhere I could get them? And I love your header from several other favorite movies! (Emma 2009, for instance(-;)

  2. Thank you so much! It's my absolute favorite too. I just love it!

    As for the dance numbers, I don't know of a CD where you could get them. I know there's a "dance montage" track on the CD that plays the 30 second song towards the end of the ball at the Assembly Room and another song that plays a small part of Mr. Beveridge's Maggot, but it's done on piano and it lasts for less than 10 seconds. I was disappointed when I found out about it, but it's still a good CD nevertheless.

    I'm glad that you like the header. Thank you :)!


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