7 March 2005 | Wulfstan10
Hard to Beat
This version of Pride and Prejudice is simply outstanding and excels in essentially every aspect. It is faithful to the book, particularly capturing the spirit of the book and the energy and constant tension of the story. It excellently portrays the world of the book as it relates to the story, with keen attention to the details of costume, the furniture, etc. Moreover, the actors were on the whole outstanding. I fail to see how anyone could have portray Darcy better than did Colin Firth, who perfectly captured the character's aristocratic refinedness, his shyness and sense of decorum that come across as apparent stuffiness and disdain, and his underlying passion, all at the same time. He perfectly blends all these different traits and is utterly convincing in portraying the outward stiffness as a simple facade for the strong emotions and character underneath, rather than simply being stiff and wooden. His looks, and especially his eyes, say so much of the complexity of his character and his feelings with subtle expressions. Similarly Jennifer Ehle excellently portrays Lizzie, showing her to be tender, witty, thoughtful, occasionally prone to strong judgments without all the information, yet trying to grapple with different feelings as her involvement with Darcy, et al., progresses. David Bamber is great as Mr. Collins and perfectly conveys his mix of traits. Alison Steadman's histrionics and fickle opinions are wonderful as the mom, and remind me very much of an actual relative of mine, while Benjamin Whitrow is a great counterpart as the father who is outwardly usually calm and peaceful, yet always able to rile up his wife. The others are great, too, but there is no point in listing them all. The bottom line is that I find it hard to beat this production, which is utterly gripping and keeps anyone interested in these stories completely entranced the whole way through.