THE MOVIE: Pride and Prejudice
STARRING: Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy
RELEASE DATE: November 23, 2005
THE DIRECTOR: Joe Wright
THE CLASSIC MOMENT: Mr. Darcy makes the long stroll to Elizabeth during early dawn to confess his feelings.
When it comes to romance, no one does it better than Jane Austen. And hundreds of years after Pride and Prejudice was written, Mr. Darcy remains one of the quintessential romantic heroes of all time with Elizabeth Bennet the ideal leading lady. Their story of “pride” and “prejudice” is one of the earliest prototypes of the classic love/hate relationship seen often in romances and particularly romantic comedies. So it’s no surprise that with the invention of film, Hollywood wanted to adapt Pride and Prejudice (one of the greatest novels of all time) into a movie. To date, there have been more than 10 adaptations of the classic novel.
Of course, the two most notable adaptations being the 1995 adaptation with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth and the 2005 (yes it has been 10 years) adaptation starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
So for this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to go back to an old classic and pull out one of the greats. And while I love many of the different adaptations, I wanted to focus on the 2005 Joe Wright adaptation this week because of his artistic vision. Wright didn’t just use dialogue to adapt the film, he used setting and atmosphere (weather), camera angles, costumes, a musical score, etc…to help capture the essence of Jane Austen’s novel. And he certainly succeeded, even if he didn’t have the time in a full feature to include every scene.
And as for the actual romantic moment, I decided to go with the scene near the end when the two finally come together!
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT: ELIZABETH AND MR. DARCY
Elizabeth walks in the quiet stillness of early dawn. It’s a perfectly serene, idyllic scene that takes its time in building to its forthcoming romantic climax. Director Joe Wright certainly knows how to do romance right (even the camera works as a character).
She makes her way across the bridge, her steps a slow, steady pace. Elizabeth protects herself from the chill of the early morning by folding her arms together for warmth. It is then she looks to her side where she suddenly sees something surprising.
At this point, the audience is kept in suspense for a moment as the camera zooms in on her emotions to further elevate the tension. We can’t see what she sees…not yet anyway. And then the camera switches to her point of view as she lets out a happy sigh.
There walking out of the fog (in a gorgeous shot) toward her is Mr. Darcy. In one take, Darcy walks closer and closer in arguably one of the most romantic moments (and most swoon worthy) in cinematic history.
The epic musical score plays as Darcy continues to approach in what seems like the longest walk ever, toward her, toward us.
The camera switches over to Elizabeth as she turns to face Mr. Darcy still heading toward her. Finally, he makes it and comes to a stop.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Elizabeth says breaking the silence.
“Nor I,” Darcy responds. “My aunt–”
“Yes, she was here,” Elizabeth says with a smile.
“How can I ever make amends for such behavior?” he asks.
“After what you have done for Lydia and I suspect for Jane also, it is I who should be making amends,” Elizabeth admits.
“You must know, surely you must know it was all for you…You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night and it has taught me to hope as I’d scarcely allowed myself before.” He continues:
“If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed. But one word from you will silence me forever.”At this point Darcy steps closer, now hopeful thanks to the encouraging look she’s giving him.
“lf, however, your feelings have changed… …I would have to tell you, you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
After that speech, Elizabeth stands there happily with a smile and following a long pause steps toward him to lift his hand. “Well, then,” Elizabeth says. She kisses his hand giving him the answer he wanted to hear.
Instead of a declaration of love she simply states, “Your hands are cold.” But he understands her perfectly.
The two then lean their heads together, forever united as a couple henceforth.
What did you think of the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice? Did you love this moment between Elizabeth and Darcy? Let me know in the comments!
Photos: Focus Features
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