Ever since the beginning of the seventh art, we can understand the impact and admiration a writer may cause on generations of readers, studying how many of his/her writings have been adapted to the small or the big screen.
Talking about Jane Austen, this assertion is more than true since her stories -which have delighted and will delight through time- have also been a source of inspiration for the performance and later delight of an audience who was willing to give shape to that which could only be imagined.
Several have been the works of Jane Austen adapted to the big screen and television and being the anniversary of one of her beloved ones, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, we would like to talk about it, one which started its voyage from the written word to the screen more that seventy years ago.
Till the moment, 12 have been the adaptations for television and two for the big screen on ‘Pride and Prejudice’ without forgetting the endless number of films ‘inspired’ in the story of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Among all the adaptations, maybe the most acknowledged by nowadays audience are on the one hand, the 1995 BBC adaptation for television starred by Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the 2005 film with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen playing the main roles on the other.
If it is true there are different views about the accuracy to the original text of both versions, their success in audience as well as in box takings proves once again the audience is eagerly willing to live for a few moments human conflicts which talk about passions and feelings constantly and timelessly grounded among us. Andrew Davies achieves to make us feel in a different period so amusingly and close -without moving away from the original text- that we are able to understand how that society he portraits was two centuries ago. Joe Wright who focuses on the aspect of ‘romance’ with a very personal view though superficially -without getting too close to what is underneath the main characters relationship- however achieves to make the audience feel Lizzy’s unhappiness and Mr Darcy’s loneliness.
Whatever the adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ may be it cannot be forgotten it is a story about human relations, disillusion and hope, about a hard reality softened by the characters’ wit and ability to fight and their capability of accepting at the same time, ultimately on how perseverance and repentance lead to the fulfillment of the so longed achievement.
Originally published in Escribe Romántica