The movie was adapted from the globally recognized Amour novel written in 1813 by one of the most outstanding and prolific united kingdom writers Jane Austen, who indeed contributed all her writing energy, professionalism, and unquenchable enthusiasm to create this masterpiece of classical English literature.
The global recognition of this novel is in fact undisputed. Having been written more almost two hundred years ago, the book still remains an internationally acknowledged bestseller. It is translated in 23 languages and can be bought almost in any bookshop around the globe. The book was ranked among 500 books which has channeled the development of the world literature legacy. Moreover, masters and bachelors arts programs of the majority global educations institutions (literature faculties as well) include this novel to the list of obligatory reading materials, which shall be mandatorily read by each student.
Numerous filmmakers have attempted to make a movie adaptation of that novel, but few of them really succeeded in the fulfillment of that task. The reason for their inability to deliver the message of Jane Austen to the target audience was generated by numerous factors, including technical imperfections of the filming industry, the inability of the script adaptors to unite the novel of Jane Austen and the poor play of the actors engaged in the film. Overall, all attempts undertaken by the filmmakers ultimately failed , except the one taken by Joe Wright whose masterpiece managed to meet all the requirements which are inherent to the movie which has been adapted from the historical novel. In 2005 genuine masterpiece was created and the cultural legacy of the entire humankind has been significantly increased by the creation of this outstanding movie.
Another important accomplishment, except for the fantastic directing of Joe Wright, was the most clean cut and flawless work done by the scriptwriter of the movie. Indeed, Deborach Moggach while managing to adhere as closely as possible to the story, somehow contrived to make the modern audience to comprehend the message of the author, completely eliminating the cultural gap which exists between the 1813 audience and the contemporary audience. The most significant task was to adapt the vocabulary because English ladies and gentlemen of the late 18th century utilized genuinely sophisticated vocabulary and elevated demeanor. Leading academic scholars in the field of English history unanimously stipulate that if this demeanor or vocabulary is imitated nowadays, it will do nothing but merely ridicule the audience. Therefore, the task was to make the audience feel the elevation and solemnity of the movie whilst keeping the behavior, manners and lexical resources of the main characters of the story as simple as possible.
The aim of this paper is to outline the main peculiarities of the lexical constituents of the movie, to stress and accentuate the historical and technical perspectives of the story, to elevate the ethical integral part of it and to provide a personal critical reflection of this outstanding movie.
The Associated Words and Their Significance
As it has already been stressed the vocabulary of the movie adaptation is one of the most impressive accomplishments of the entire contemporary filming industry. The passages from the book have been literally taken and re-built, but the lexical “reconstruction” was done the way, that it has become possible to retain the initial message of the author whilst making it possible for the modern target audience to comprehend the particulars of the film and to get immersed to the atmosphere of the film completely. It is evident that the following phrases are the most illustrative in the movie, as they depict in detail the haughty and elevated atmosphere of the late 18th century, the manners and the rituals which governed and controlled the cultural life of the society of those days. However, the words have been selected the way, that it has become possible for the target audience to comprehend their meanings and the gist of the sentences while sensing and feeling the atmosphere of the old, good Victorian England.
The following phrases pronounced by the main characters of the movie (Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett were performed by Keera Knightley and Matthey MacFadyen respectively) clearly reflect the astonishing achievement of the scriptwriter:
When the scene of the ball takes place, Mr. Darcy inviting Elizabeth Bennett to have a dance with him utters “May I have the next dance?”. To understand the message and the essence of this phrase , first and foremost the personality of Mr. Darcy must be well-studied. He is polished, aristocratic and neat young man, but outwardly he seems to be self-absorbed, egoistic, haughty and arrogant towards the people who surround him. Therefore, asking the permission to have a dance with the lady is a tremendous personal transgression over himself for him, especially considering the fact that the invited lady belongs to the “lower rank”.Additionally, the phrase “lower rank” is to be highlighted. Nowadays, this phrase sounds both discriminatory and uncivil. Those days, although it sounded impolitely and civilly unacceptable that phrase was utilized to inform the person to whom it was addressed the position he or she occupies in the social hierarchical structure of the community. Mr. Darcy managed to say that phrase even when he was declaring in love to the person he indeed loved. But even declaring his feelings and tying his life eternally( under the Common law of those days, the divorces were not allowed in the Victorian England), this protagonist of the story was still remembering his social aristocratic status and involuntarily, even instinctively reminded the beloved one about her social “imperfection” and aristocratic “deficiency”. Nowadays, it may sound acceptable, but the unanimous opinion of the historians and other scholars is that it such a marriage, literally the proposition made in such an arrogant and uncivil manner would have been undoubtedly rejected by the potential fiancée. However, Elizabeth for some reason accepts the offer. This is the way, Austen and her film successor Deborah Moggach elevate the fact that for Darcy and for his cherished Elizabeth the feelings were paramount and even the values and the laws of the society can be sacrificed. Lydia and Kitty, the sisters of Jane and Elizabeth jabber immediately when they see Darcy on the ball “is he single, is he single?”. This is the mechanism the author intended to accentuate the importance of the marital status for the ladies of those days that even the youngest ladies became particularly obsessed and preoccupied with this sensitive issue. They didn’t know the person at all, but they enjoyed only the information from their father and their friend. All that data together with the foppish appearance of their new acquaintance was sufficient for them to consider him as an eligible marriage candidate for them or for one of their sisters.
Once the main protagonist of the story, the young English aristocrat Darcy declares in love to his future fiancée, he pronounces the phrase “perhaps these offences might have been overlooked had not your pride been hurt by my honesty”. Undoubtedly the sophistication of the phrase clearly depicts that the man who says it is in fact a genuine English gentleman who belongs to the highest circles of the society, because such a phrase could not have been said by the man of a low origin and of low manners.
“From the moment I met your arrogance and conceit” – the phrase said by Elizabeth Bennett reflects her indignation about the haughty and humiliating attitude of her future fiancé towards the rest of the main characters of the story. In the modern world, naturally the expression shall be considerably sharper and stingy. This technique is utilized by the authors to accentuate the sense of self-control and self-restraint of Elizabeth and to highlight the moral values of the genuine English lady. She never loses her temper, however irritated and vexed she is.
Historical Perspective of the Story
Historically, the story in question develops in the late 18th century, when the England was ruled by the king Eduard and the power was given to queen Victoria and England entered the epoch of Victorianism, when specific rules, regulations and moral principles and postulated existed and governed the live of the inhabitants of England and the dominions of the British Empire.
Primarily, the fact that must be stressed is the complexity and the sophistication of the relations which existed among the members of the highest circles of English society. To be more exact, the scholarly and historian opinion is that the interrelations among the members of the old English community were over-regulated and the principles of the society of those days impeded the communal values to develop normally. The feelings and the aspirations of the youth and of the old people as well were artificially pressed by the outer circumstances and nothing could have been done to overcome the pressure of the outer environment of the social classes of those times. To be more exact, it was reasonable to expect that the ladies and the gentlemen of those times would rather stifle their feelings and their emotions than that they contravene the principles and the values of the society, staking their prestige and their personal and social well-being and destroying the prospective financial and social security of their existing or of their future families.
To be more exact, the social hierarchy of those days was highly complicated. Each aspect of human relations, including the matrimonial connections between the two people, who love each other were totally controlled by the society and even the legal framework of those times pressed them significantly. The people were forced to adhere as closely as possible to the set of the existing laws and existing regulations to ensure that their freedom and their happiness is safeguarded. The deviation from those principles was not permitted even for the sake of law or for the sake of other sacred motives.
Hereby, it can be concluded that the choice of historical background is one of the strongest points of this story. It really helps the target reader to fully realize and completely comprehend the meaning and the message of the story delivered by both the novel and the movie. In other words, when the protagonist of the story, the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy contravenes the values of the community and stakes his social reputation for the sake of love, he really deserves admiration and respect.
Technical Perspective of the Story
The movie was casted with the application of traditional techniques, and nothing sophisticated has been utilized to create the movie. However, the work of the video operators deserves a portion of admiration, because the marvelous sceneries of good old Victorian England and the scenes in where the main characters of the story communicate to each other are impressive. The cameramen managed to convey all their mimics, gesture and emotions by means of conventional video camera and montage work utilization. To be more exact, the sophisticated techniques were never utilized by them.
The film for the movie is of traditional Hollywood production, manufactured by the firm which traditionally supplies the movie studios with the best filming material.
Overall, the conclusion that can be drawn from this section is that the sophisticated techniques were not applied by the team and the only factor which has driven the film to be so successful is the unique actor play of the protagonists and the background actors.
Ethical Perspective of the Story
Ethically, the movie does seem to be completely consistent with the existing and emerging ethical standards of the community. It can be recapitulate that the image maker of the movie was a true professional in his trade, as he managed to produce a 100% socially responsible masterpiece. Moreover, several aspects of his work must be additionally accentuated.
First and foremost, the movie is indeed thought provoking for those, who are directly or indirectly ethically preoccupied. The image maker pushes the shy people or those, who are do not feel confident enough to commit heroic exploits and not to feel confined by the moral postulated of the community. The people are encouraged to violate outdated and obsolete trends and regulations, whose relevance is more than disputed nowadays.
The image maker of the movie fully complied with the rights of the prospective audience. The people who will potentially view the movie have been vested with the opportunity to view it and to comprehend the fact that when the movie was composed the author completely adhered to the rights of all social minority groups of the society.
In fact, the movie is really aesthetically appealing to society. The author of the movie calls for the modernization of the existing ethical standards and enchants the standards that existed in the community many years ago elevating their beautifulness and contrasting them to the contemporary ones. He treats the subject of his work with sympathy and with all due care and attention . And the unanimous opinion of almost all critics was that the author in a close collaboration with the image maker of the movie managed to produce a fantastic piece of the art, elevating and highlight the beautifulness of the old Anglia social life and the need for reformation of the present society.
Personal Critical Evaluation of the Movie
As far as my personal evaluation of the movie is concerned, I want to stress the fact that I am rather positive with my assessment of the movie. I am firmly convinced that the images and other visual techniques which have been utilized by the author fully reflect the needs of the contemporary community.
I have a firm opinion that virtually nothing can be done to improve this movie and visually everything has been perfected by the team which prepared the movie. It can be said that the work conducted by Joe Wright shall serve as an example for the rest of the movie makers who aspire to adapt the classical pieces of the art.