Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jane Eyre - CJ.Fukunaga (2010)

A few liberties have been taken with the time span, and extensive cuts have been made into Jane's childhood - which is here reduced to mere background - but the love story, the feminist aspect and the dialogues remain very faithful to the novel.

Globally, I find this overly melodramatic and Fassbender is, surprisingly, a rather pale Rochester in my opinion.
Most of all, it made me want to reread Jean Rhys's brilliant 'Wide Sargasso Sea' which I haven't touched for some time. 

I confess I don't really see the point of adaptations at all, unless it is to allow a young audience to discover a fine work of art (which is what I'm using it for).
And even as such, it has its limits, i. e. the Harry Potter-syndrome : Why would any of these youngsters ever bother with a book full of pages, when they can just watch the film?


  1. I disagree about the feminist aspect. Not all of it, but the biggest part, i.e. the ending. The book has her come back to Thornfield, find it burned and Rochester 30 miles away maimed but still alive. She's an independent woman now, she can choose to do whatever the heck she wants with her life, and she CHOOSES Rochester. She doesn't have to, but that's her decision, and it was not a decision taken lightly in those days. That's a strong feminist message, and they completely left it out and instead opt for a copy of how the Orson Welles version in the 1940s ended. Disappointing.

    I also think the Rivers siblings is a mess. In the book, because the three Rivers siblings are her cousins and yet Jane is the only one who has inherited THEIR uncle, she shares the money. Not just because they looked after her, but because they're her only family and it's the right thing to do. The way they've done it in the film makes it sound as if she's desperately trying to BUY herself a family, which is just ugly.

    "Globally, I find this overly melodramatic and Fassbender is, surprisingly, a rather pale Rochester in my opinion."
    - Ditto!

    "Most of all, it made me want to reread Jean Rhys's brilliant 'Wide Sargasso Sea' which I haven't touched for some time."
    - Oh no, keep going. If you want to read a PROPER alternate view of Jane Eyre, look for "Jane Eyre's Husband" by Tara Bradley. WOW. Now THERE's a book! :D

  2. Re-feminism : What was kept in this version, but is usually left out in films, was her wish to travel, to experience things that were For Men Only.
    I'll have to think about the ending-thing...

    I think we have to agree to disagree on 'Wide Sargasso Sea'. I know you don't like it, but I don't mind factual differences with Austen's book (it's all fiction anyway, right?) but found Rhys's text rich, moving & beautiful, perhaps because of the autobiographical aspect.
    (Or perhaps just because it was brilliant writing?)