Wednesday, January 9, 2008

BBC+Mr. Rochester=Brilliant

I was channel surfing Sunday night to find something I could fold my laundry to. I just happened to stumble upon PBS, and the moment I saw the little girl walking towards the head of the classroom, I knew it was Jane Eyre. I parked my bum on the couch, forgot laundry and enjoyed the best adaptation I have seen of the book. Now, a few things:

I love Jane Eyre. LOVE. I loved Jane, I loved the book, but mostly I loved Mr. Rochester. He was the first in a long list of misunderstood men that I fell in love with (closely followed by Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff and Sydney Carton) and was sure could be saved. Which is why I have hated every single adaptation of Jane Eyre I have ever seen. I mean, what kind of a sick person would think of casting William Hurt as Mr. Rochester? Or Samantha Morton--whom I generally like--as Jane? None of the movies ever lived up to my expectations.

Except this BBC version. Even though Toby Stephens doesn't really look like Mr. Rochester and Ruth Wilson is far from 'plain', I liked it. A LOT (So much so that I ran to the library on Monday, got a copy of the book and have read it twice already). Somehow this adaptation works for me, even though the ending wasn't quite as I would have hoped. I think I just chalk it up to the BBC pretty much being able to adapt any book to a decent movie, furthering my love of the BBC.

And while the BBC has for some reason disabled the embedding feature, you can see one of my favorite parts of the movie here. Better yet, just rent the movie and watch the whole thing. You'll thank me.

Which brings me to a questions for you: Towards the end of the book, Mr. Rochester announces he wants to get married. Jane advises him to marry "her who loves you best." Mr. Rochester wants to choose, "her that he loves best". Ladies and gentleman, my question is, if you were to choose a spouse/life partner would you choose the person who loves you most, or the person you love most? Why?


The Ex said...

Oh god, what a tough question. I think...I'd absolutely have to go with who I loved best. I'd never want to be looking back and wondering what if.

But on the other hand the idea of being loved best appeals to me.

You stumped me!

Anonymous said...

Too funny you posted about this because the Mister and I caught a few minutes when we turned the tube on last night. The movie was mostly over since Jane was staying with St. John and his sisters (Doesn't it end up that they her cousins?). Unfortunately, our brains were too tired for high literature adaptations or we would have watched it. Jane Eyre is one of my husband's favorite books.

As for your questions, gosh that's tough. My first impulse was to say the person who loves you the most because I've found that no matter how much you love someone, it doesn't necessarily make them want to love you (or be kind to you) back.

That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.

JamieSmitten said...

My first instinct was to take the one who loves you the most. You'll probably treat them like crap but they'll never leave you.

But in the immortal words of Steel Magnolias, "I would rather have thiry minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."

Amy said...

He who loves me most! For sure. Surely there is nothing more horrible than un-requited love. Besides, he who loves me most takes far better care of me than I do of him.

girl with curious hair said...

Ex: I'm glad I could stump you--I was afraid I would be the only person who couldn't decide.

Manda: Jane Eyre is one of your husband's favorites? I'm impressed. I don't know if he's partial to any of the other adaptations, but this one is definitely my favorite.

Jamie: But would they continue to love you if you treated them like crap?

Amy: My unrequited love was like a knife in my chest for so long that when the pain went away, it was a whole new pain.

EA said...

I share many of your sentiments in regards to this most recent film adaptation of Jane Eyre. I tolerated the Timothy Dalton version, though it was very rehearsed and "stagy", but this Ruth/Toby combination breathed new life.

However, I do find that NONE of the version capture the intensity of the book. Two of the most important scenes in the story: Rochester's proposal and revelation, and the battle of words, flesh and soul between Jane and Edward, were completely watered down - even in the 2006 version. During the former, Jane is supposed to be irate, driven to desperation, and in the latter - come on - Rochester's supposed to threaten her with rape. ("Jane will you hear reason... because if you won't I'll try violence.") I long to see someone capture that explosion and torment.

Hey, but this movie was a far cry from William Hurt's mumbled, tired look.