As a big fan of the book and the BBC adaption (1995) by the same name, this movie had a lot to live up to. When it first came out, I saw it twice in the cinema as I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. Ultimately what won me over was the beautiful soundtrack by Dario Marianelli. Retelling the classic tale by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (2005) tells the story of gradual love between two individuals. As indicated by the title, both pride and prejudice get in the way of love.
As much about Bingley and Jane as Elizabeth and Darcy, each character is cast well in this adaptation. Keira Knightley brings the sassy Elizabeth Bennet to the screen well, and her sisters Lydia (Jena Malone) and Kitty (Carey Mulligan) are suitably silly. Rosamund Pike is sweet as the lovely Jane, especially when compared to her mother (Brenda Blethyn). Judi Dench as Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a special treat.
Director Joe Wright has brought out different elements well for those who are serious fans of the story or even just the previous BBC adaption (1995). In particular, we sense the pressure to marry and marry well in this adaptation, allowing us to understand character choices and empathise with them. Locations are beautiful, especially the imposing Netherfield Hall, as is the videography. Jacqueline Durran’s costumes effectively communicate and divide class.
Overall, there is much to enjoy in this adaption of the story, not just the Oscar-nominated performance of Keira Knightley. Sets, costumes, performances, camera work and sound stage all work together under careful direction to bring the story to life afresh. And, of course, the soundtrack by Marianelli is a special treat! Treat yourself to this on Blu-ray, freshly released by Umbrella.