27 October 2008

Persuasion (starring Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds)

While I'm not, in general, a huge fan of books turned into movies, I do feel that Jane Austen's novels can work particularly well on screen. The somewhat archaic descriptive language translates to gorgeous scenery and creative photography; the people come to life, if well-cast, and the story takes on a new perspective.

With this in mind, I have started collecting recommended DVD versions of Austen's novels. I was given the BBC version of 'Persuasion' for my birthday, and we finally sat down to watch it.

The story follow the classic Jane Austen novel 'Persuasion', which is less well known than some of her others. I had not read it for a few years, but still remembered the plot roughly.

The story features Anne Elliot (Amanda Root), the middle daughter of three. She is not a traditional heroine - neither feisty nor ravishingly beautiful. Indeed, as the title suggests, she is all too persuadable. And as such, we quickly become aware that she broke off her engagement to the dashing (but poverty-stricken) Captain Wentworth (Ciarán Hinds) some years previously. She has always harboured regrets, but attempts to behave as a young lady was expected to, and hide her deepest feelings.

Unsurprisingly, Captain Wentworth re-appears in Anne's neighbourhood, now doing well financially... and clearly popular with the ladies.

In my opinion, the BBC really know how to do Jane Austen. I don't suppose the budget was huge, but this adaptation brought the novel to life very well. There was some nicely done humour where appropriate, and two very believable main protagonists. The scenery and language felt believable, close to the text of the book, at least as far as I could remember it; my husband, who has not read any Jane Austen, thought it very well done too.

All in all, a very enjoyable film. Recommended.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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