jane eyre {musings about the film}

{I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone so,
if you don't want to know a little about the ending, don't read on!}

First, READ THE BOOK FIRST!* This is one movie which will ruin at least a good part of your enjoyment of the book and the book is better! I know ... "it's 521 pages long" you say. But, It's 521 pages worth reading! You'll thank me later and you can get the movie on DVD. Or maybe you won't and, in that case, I hope you don't remember I was the one who told you to read 521 pages. :)

I'm not one for movie reviews, so I'll keep this short and sweet! Yesterday my sist
ers and I braved a tiny art's theater full of ladies wearing long, black coats, clip-on earrings (fun!) and fur collars to see Jane Eyre. I definitely recommend the movie, especially if you've read it. The casting was excellent (how has this woman managed to successfully play the "old lady" part in every period film ever made?) and the cinematography was beautiful, yet dark (but then ... it's a dark book). I was impressed with the screen adaption of such a lengthy book and everything they included was well done. Which brings me to my one critique, they forgot to include the ending. Well, that's not entirely true. The ending was short and sweet and, if you haven't read the book, you might be perfectly satisfied. But as one who loves the story and it's complex characters, the last few pages are my favorite out of all 521! Charlotte Bronte closes the novel swiftly and uses so few lines to entirely change her reader's mind concearning Mr. Rodchester. His acknowledgment of his own weakness and his Maker's mercy change him into a new man, a man deserving of Jane. I wish the film would have included even a few of these lovely lines:
"I will at least choose—her I love best. Jane, will you marry me?"
"Yes, sir."
"A poor blind man, whom you will have to lead about by the hand?"
"Yes, sir."
"A crippled man, twenty years older than you, whom you will have to wait on?"
"Yes, sir."
"Truly, Jane?"
"Most truly, sir."
"Oh! my darling! God bless you and reward you!"
"Mr. Rochester, if ever I did a good deed in my life—if ever I thought a good thought—if ever I prayed a sincere and blameless prayer—if ever I wished a righteous wish,—I am rewarded now. To be your wife is, for me, to be as happy as I can be on earth."
"Because you delight in sacrifice."
"Sacrifice! What do I sacrifice? Famine for food, expectation for content. To be privileged to put my arms round what I value—to press my lips to what I love—to repose on what I trust: is that to make a sacrifice? If so, then certainly I delight in sacrifice."
"And to bear with my infirmities, Jane: to overlook my deficiencies."
"Which are none, sir, to me. I love you better now, when I can really be useful to you, than I did in your state of proud independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver and protector."
"Hitherto I have hated to be helped—to be led: henceforth, I feel I shall hate it no more ... I thank my Maker, that, in the midst of judgment, he has remembered mercy. I humbly entreat my Redeemer to give me strength to lead henceforth a purer life than I have done hitherto!"
Then he stretched his hand out to be led. I took that dear hand, held it a moment to my lips, then let it pass round my shoulder: being so much lower of stature than he, I served both for his prop and guide. We entered the wood, and wended homeward ...

Reader, I married him.

... Mr. Rochester continued blind the first two years of our union; perhaps it was that circumstance that drew us so very near—that knit us so very close: for I was then his vision, as I am still his right hand. Literally, I was (what he often called me) the apple of his eye ... When his first-born was put into his arms, he could see that the boy had inherited his own eyes, as they once were—large, brilliant, and black. On that occasion, he again, with a full heart, acknowledged that God had tempered judgment with mercy.

—Jane Eyre

I love that book. :) Simply put, I enjoyed the movie, but I think it left out the heart of the story. Have you seen the movie? How do you rank it and did you feel it was missing something or just perfect? Also, I got a free poster at the theater, which is always fun!

And if you made it this far, you'll enjoy this song from the Broadway musical—I think it summarizes the entire novel.

Secret Soul — Marla Schaffel & Anthony Crivello

So much for "short and sweet," huh? ;)

*I actually listened to the book which isn't quite as good, but very practical!

Photo credit: Candice Lesage
Quote credit: ReadPrint, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Chapters 27 & 28

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