#13 - Jane Eyre (2011)
SUMMARY (Spoilers below)
Based off of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, this story is about a young woman who has been in servitude in one manner or another her entire life, and is trampled on for most of her life, until she finally finishes her education and receives employment as a governess for a young, French girl in the care of a man named Mr. Rochester. She does so, and for the first time in her life she feels she is free of any oppression. Mr. Rochester finds her a suitable speaking companion, but she is unsure about him. There are unexplained incidents around the manor that she cannot explain and will not be explained by him, as it is obvious that he is the only one who knows the reasons behind the strange occurrences. Nearly at the end of the movie, Mr. Rochester eventually admits to her that he is madly in love with her and proposes to her, to which she says yes, as she has silently fallen in love with him as well. Just as they are about to be married, they are stopped by a magistrate who tells them that they cannot be married as Mr. Rochester is already married. In absolute terror, she runs from the house and ends up near death. She is taken in by a man and his two sisters, and is given a place to stay. She stays, but tells them nothing of where she came from. A year later, she discovers that a man has been searching for her and she soon finds out that she is to be an heiress, as an uncle that she did not know existed has passed away and has bequeathed all of his earthly possessions to her in his will, which includes a large fortune. Upon receiving this information, she leaves and goes back to Mr. Rochester’s manor, only to find that it has burned down. But he is alive, though blind, and they are reunited.
They only gave this movie three stars, but it deserves all four in my opinion! I’ve read other reviews that say it is very reminiscent of all of the other films that have been made about this classic novel, but in my opinion that is a good thing. That means that it’s staying true to the story, and not the other movies. They are all so similar in style because of the fact that they are all trying to accurately portray the atmosphere and proper setting of the novel.
However, what sets this one apart is the superb acting of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. They both seem to transmit all of their energies into their roles without having to say very many words. The subtlety throughout this film is breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully refreshing. Their body language speaks volumes, and because of how superb it is, this movie, all two hours of it, could not have a single word in it and we would still know exactly what was going on. The chemistry that these two actors have is stunning and…well, I simply don’t have the words to truly explain how stunning the two of them are.
From an artist’s perspective, I would have to say that the movie is a masterpiece from start to finish. The music…well, the music is exquisite and helps set the mood of the movie in so many different ways. It speaks when the actors do not and says things that their words cannot. The colors throughout the movie are in accordance with the mood of the scene. When Jane first meets Mr. Rochester, it is in the woods and then when they talk by the fire, being introduced formally, there is a passion that underlies the scene that is so subtle as to almost not be noticed, but the music portrays their feelings better than any words ever could. Whenever there is distance between them, the colors are cool and washed out, but whenever they’re close to each other and actually feeling emotions, the colors are in red and gold tones.
And then there is the scene that takes place after Jane saves Mr. Rochester from the fire in his bedroom. He takes her hand and thanks her…and they are so close, they are almost kissing. But they don’t. It is a tense scene, and absolutely captures the atmosphere of the movie. I give it five out of five stars.