I just watched the new Jane Eyre movie on dvd, starring Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, and I am devastatingly disappointed at how the movie just fell so far short of my expectations. I deserve it though, I let my enthusiasm for another film adaptation for one of my favorite novels (I reread it once a year) overtake my usual skepticism regarding any film adaptation of any book. Needless to say when I pushed play my enthusiasm waned and diminished until at the end I was just glad the debacle was over and I was free to berate myself for wasting my time watching Cary Fukunaga’s version of Jane Eyre (when instead I could have been watching the BBC adaptation on Youtube and derive much, much, MUCH more satisfaction?? Toby Stephens, you ARE Mr. Rochester for me now.)
The problem was not the casting. I do like Mia Wasikowska, and Michael Fassbender is great. But, at the risk of sounding cliche, they lacked the chemistry needed to accurately portray the dynamic between Jane and Mr. Rochester. Jane and Rochester had this invisible, indestructible bond that, when I read the book, was suffocating when they were apart. Michael Fassbender was brooding but he lacked the charming, flirtatious manner of double-speak that Rochester had at times. Toby Stephens in the BBC adaptation definitely nails this. In the new adaptation, because it tried to include aspects of the whole novel, it just felt like snippets of Jane’s milestones and lacked a focus that shows how Jane’s life transpired and evolved.
Jamie Bell as St. John was a good match, but the storyline was so flawed at that point, it was like an out of place insertion of plot. Where was the dilemma? The possibility of Jane ending up with St. John? At this point in the movie I just felt nothing and was wishing the movie would end.
Fukunaga may have been feeling this way also because the movie wrapped up and ended so abruptly (can I even call it an ending, to this, one of the best classic novels ever written?). Maybe Fukunaga did not want to be cliche and end with a truly happy ending, but there was no visual elaboration of the fire and what happened to the estate and Mrs. Rochester. There was no satisfying resolution to Jane and Rochester’s reunion, it ends abruptly with a disheveled and blind Rochester and Jane embracing and I forget the words she utters. Ugh.
Lastly, I wish Fukunaga would have taken advantage of the scenery and the Gothic architecture of the estate in which they filmed. There were many great visual aspects that, if developed, could have been captivating, which would have served as one minor saving grace of this adaptation (ie Pride & Prejudice starring Kiera Knighley- the cinematography was breathtaking). But alas, I was just left with nothing to deeply appreciate and wanting more for this wonderful story. I wanted the movie to be much more.
I guess I will go back to rereading the novel and watching the BBC adaptation. Both certainly do not leave me wanting. I do believe that justice can only be done for the novel if any and all film adaptations are in the form of a mini series.
dear samantha i’m sorry we have to get a divorce i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain: it’s not you it sure as hell isn’t me it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night i know you would never DO anything, you never do but.. i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication.
after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away
this is not true
after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down while he still has control over his motor functions he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes spooning every morsel into her mouth she wastes nothing even the exoskeleton goes she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them now that.. is selflessness
i could never do that for you
so i have a new plan i’m gonna leave you now i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices i hope you do the same i will jay walk at every opportunity i will steal things i could easily afford i will be rude to strangers i hope you do the same i hope reincarnation is real i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures i hope we are reborn as flies so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.
-Jared Singer, "An Entomologist’s Last Love Letter"