Mia Wasikowska is too pretty to play Jane Eyre.  Michael Fassbender if too handsome to play Mr. Rochester.  Hollywood, why don’t you understand ugly?  Even Mr. Rochester’s crazy wife, Bertha, isn’t too bad!  Not putting makeup on a pretty person’s face doesn’t automatically make him or her ugly.   It’s like those teen movies when the “ugly” girl takes of her glasses and undoes her ponytail and all of a sudden becomes the hottest girl in school.  So believable.

It movie itself was..interesting.  It took a lot of liberties with the plot and if you’re a puritan when it comes to Jane Eyre, you probably will spend the movie whispering “That’s not right!” to anyone who will listen.  There is a lot of character development missing and the side stories and relationships (especially between Jane, St. John, and his sisters) aren’t fully addressed.  I can understand this decision was made in the interest of brevity and in the assumption t hat most people coming to see the movie really only want to see the romance between Rochester and Jane.  it seems like the directors just decided to screw everything else and forget the rest of the story.

One of the things I liked best about the movie was how Jane seemed less subservient in the movie role versus the book.  She owned her emotions, her passion, and her independence and was less swayed by the borderline abusive men than in the book.  Granted, the movie makes St. John seem like less of an ass and more of a boring, puritan missionary who generally has a good heart.  His proposal wasn’t nearly as drawn out and didn’t provoke the same emotions of disgust as it does in the book. The closest the movie gets to alluding the fact t hat St. John is a terrible person is when he says he and Jane will get married and “enough love will follow.”  But that seemed more sad and naive rather than tasteless and selfish.

The movie got the gothic feel and Victorian weirdness of the novel right on, though.  There are some creepy parts of the book (Bertha, in her entirety) and this movie felt more like a ghost story at time with voices on the wind and dark hallways.  The scene where she bites/stabs Mason was nicely done.  The director could have done a lot more with Bertha’s character though.  Some of the creepiest scenes in the book didn’t make it into the movie.  How about when Bertha comes into Jane’s room and rips her wedding veil?  Or the weirdness of Grace Poole?  These are crucial plot points, people!  (Crucial may be a slight exaggeration, but they are big pieces of the novel!  The mystery!  The suspense!  WTF is Rochester hiding in the inner room?!)

In the end, though, this adaptation of the film was entertaining.  It didn’t drag by showing every little detail of the book or all of the time passing (those people really knew how to entertain themselves).  I would highly recommend it for anyone who has read the novel and wants to see the latest spin on a classic.

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