I really enjoyed this version of the famous Charlotte Bronte story. Starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.
I wasn’t keen on watching this adaptation after it came out in 2011. I had always preferred the 2006 TV drama starring Toby Stephens, or even the famous 1943 version starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. I have always enjoyed the latter adaptation, and if you want me to do a comparison blog post then please do let me know!
This particular (2011) had plenty of famous faces which should have detracted from the main tour de force of the film itself. But it didn’t. The two main performances of Fassbender and Wasikowska held up any flaws the film may or may not have had, and they had a slow burning chemistry together. Which is nice.
The film is told through a non-linear narrative, from Jane’s escape from Thornfield and then following her life from her childhood with her horrible aunt to at last her existence years later as governess to Mr Rochester’s ward Adele. I don’t know if it was just me (or maybe because I haven’t seen a Jane Eyre adaptation in ages) but some of the events seemed compressed. All the same, the film managed to achieve a running time of under two hours. Thumbs up for that.
Michael Fassbender was fantastic as Rochester. My ultimate Rochester would probably be Orson Welles but Fassbender brought something new to the role. The only thing that did really annoy me was that the accents of the two leads seemed to slip and slide around a bit too much. Irritating, yes, but not enough to put me off the film in its entirety. Wasikowska was also very memorable as Jane Eyre. This version of the film emphasized the facet which is never really explored in other variations – that, after all, Jane is always fighting for the ability to be a free-thinking, independent person.
While the ending of the story is predictable and the same in all of the adaptations (Jane returns to Rochester who has become blind due to a fire caused by his deranged first wife), this particular representation of the ending…I don’t know? Moved me a bit more than the other variations of the story. This film is definately going to be on my Top 10 list.
MY RATING: ***** / *****