It’s a well-known tale from Jane Austen back in the early 19th century. In a society where the only thing anybody seems to think about is finding a good suitor for his or her children, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are busy with five daughters to stress about. Lucky for them, one of their five, Lizzie (Keira Knightley), has a good enough grasp on her own independence to figure things out for herself.
If you can understand the British lilt accompanying the archaic repartee used throughout much of this film, then more power to you. Luckily, it doesn’t hinder my ability to comprehend the main story, but the problem lies in the lighthearted banter that picks up the mood between dramatic ambits. Some things may get lost in translation, but it gets its point across.
Matthew MacFadyen does well as the famed Mr. Darcy. When you first see him on screen, he’s so cold that you have no idea how that man is capable of love of any kind. He and Knightley’s chemistry grows as their characters’ does.
Lizzie, being from a more middle-class family, and Mr. Darcy, a wealthy personage of significance, have unspoken tensions and reservations about each other regarding financial status. And obviously, the point is that we should look past superficial attraction and at true character. However, this is derailed a bit as director Joe Wright’s order of things gives us some reason to believe that Lizzie could, in fact, be falling in love with Mr. Darcy for those exact reasons. I assure you, this is far from Austen’s original intent.
Nonetheless, this 2005 adaptation means well and is a classic piece of modern cinema. It may not be my first choice of drama to watch on any given day, but the impressive performances by the whole cast, along with the very consistent pacing make for an enjoyable watch. The beautiful scenery and set pieces are a plus, providing a pleasurable watch all the way to the end.