Monday, November 14, 2005

Movie endings

A while ago I went to a premiere of the new Pride and Prejudice movie. Since the Jane Austen book is one of my favourite novels, I did not have high expectations of the movie, as adaptations usually never measure up. However I was quite impressed: it follows the novel's plot quite closely, the historical details were meticulously reconstructed and the views are quite impressive. Plus, it was a cool evening because Brenda Blethyn (who plays Mrs. Bennet in the movie) was present at the screening, and I really like her work.
At any rate I found this story quite amusing:
The US release of Pride and Prejudice is eight minutes longer than the UK version because British test audiences hated the extended romantic ending. Matthew MacFayden, who plays Mr Darcy, told USA Today, UK audiences disliked the more "sugary" ending so it was cut.
In the US version, the two main characters Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy embrace at the end.
There is no doubt that the ending is a little muddled. Starting from Lady Catherine de Bourgh's rude visit to the Bennet's house the movie changes the plot in several slight but totally unnecessary respects, making the story more implausible. Obviously I was not happy with that. I saw the shorter version, and though I don't know what the "sugary" ending is like, I must say the abrupt ending of the UK version is less than ideal. Even the novel has a chapter on life after the engagement. Anyway, read the book - it beats any movie both in wit and wisdom.

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