Monday, April 18, 2011

Jane Eyre at the Strand

  Saturday night I went to see Jane Eyre at our wonderful Strand theater in Rockland, Maine.    Like so many others, I have seen several Jane Eyres, and, like so many others, the novel is imprinted on my soul. We probably all wonder why we go, since we know the story by heart.  I guess it's a pilgrimage of sorts; we must go.  And I guess the movie producers know that we will.

When I first read the book, I was a young adolescent.  Though I loved it I couldn't wrap my head around some of the features.  Why was Helen Burns in  a Gothic romance? How could Jane love a man who was bad tempered and hard to figure out? He suddenly appeared, then he disappeared. Why did he flirt with a frivolous society belle when he professed to really love Jane?   What about that telepathy?

This movie  got Mr. Rochester right.  Needless to say many of his idiosyncracies were Charlotte Bronte's rather clumsy way of moving her story forward (and it feels like blasphemy to write that).  But in this rendering he looked, sounded and acted in a way that was true to the book, and believable .  Mrs. Reed, Helen, Mrs. Fairfax, Mason, Bertha--the casting was right on.

Some felt it was a little much, heavy in melodrama and sepia, candle lit scenes.  But it was true to the essence of the book.  I just had a jolt when suddenly I saw Billy Elliot pretending to be the zealot St. John.

Jane Eyre might have worn black jet, like the black beads in this necklace. Only, of course, hers wouldn't have lovely glass flower beads.

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