Brace yourself, Reader, for I am about to blaspheme:
This movie was better than the book.
Let’s back up for a minute. This is actually my second time watching this film. I first saw it way back when it came out in 2011 because even back then I would watch literally anything in Victorian England. I do remember that I liked it very much, but other than that I remembered almost nothing at all. So, when I finally decided to read Jane Eyre this year, I was very much looking forward to re-watching this film having read the novel. Unfortunately, as you know, the novel ended up being quite a disappointment to me, but I was still excited to watch the film.
It is such a gorgeous, atmospheric movie. Everything that the book was supposed to make me feel I felt while watching this film. I felt the barren isolation of the moors, the moodiness of Thornfield Hall after dark, the Gothic atmosphere of the tale. The film is beautifully shot, with wide-shot scenes of the moors and the English countryside that are absolutely breathtaking.
Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender both give brilliant performances. Not to mention their chemistry is off the charts. In the novel, I never really felt the romance between Jane and Rochester, but in the film I could understand how drawn they were to each other. It was – dare I say it? – a swoon-worthy romance. Wasikowska is a fantastic Jane, stoic and resilient but with a barely concealed strength of spirit. Fassbender is brilliant as Rochester: he is alluring and magnetic and just a bit frightening. The characters were vividly brought to life by these performances.
And of course, I cannot end this review without talking about the music. The score, composed by Dario Marianelli, is utterly sublime. I’ve been listening to it nonstop since yesterday. I’m not musically inclined so I can’t talk about the particulars of the composition, but it is just such gorgeous music, the kind of music that brings tears to your eyes but feels uplifting at the same time. It’s almost Marianelli took the concept of resilience and translated it into music. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s so gorgeous and it suits the film so well.
I absolutely adored this film. Y’all can’t know how much I wish I had loved the novel as much as I loved the film, but alas!