Friday, September 20, 2013

"Jane Eyre" (2011)

Beautiful but incomplete.

When Cary Fukunaga directed “Sin Nombre” in 2009 he earned a spot on my list of directors I will “keep-an-eye-on.” The story was not inspiring nor uplifting, but the camera work and the amazing beauty of the cinematography was something to behold. So, when he filmed “Jane Eyre” a couple years later, I gradually got around to seeing it.

Much like in his earlier film, Fukunaga displays amazing command of the camera. The cinematography and the artistic choices made are top notch. This is a beautiful film. With the classic novel as his source material, he should have a more inspiring story to tell. And, in a way, he does. However, this Jane Eyre falls short. It is an incomplete film thematically speaking.

The frustration lies in what is left out of this adaptation. Jane Eyre is a story that spans the tension between religious control and libertine abandon. Jane as a character has a higher ideal for her faith than the religious hypocrites she is raised around, but she maintains that ideal in the face of people she meets later in life who would abandon any code, or practice some dispassionate, sterile form of faith. In this film version of the film, we see the religious abuses. That is always an easy (and deserved where it is found) target. But Jane’s own ideas about faith are downplayed to the point that she comes across as someone only concerned with her social perception. As to the more “liberal” ideas about Christianity, and Jane’s rejection of that extreme… they are almost completely glossed over.

1 comment:

  1. I love the book, Jane Eyre, and have often thought that the ideas in it just won't go over in modern times. Integrity seems to be a thing of the past. Today it seems that so few people will place their beliefs over their wants. "If it feels good, do it!" Too sad.


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