Jane Eyre (2011)

mp’s rating: 2.5/5

I was disappointed, really, because I always like a classic movie (movies like Pride and Prejudiced or Atonement). I though I would be witnessing a classic love story which took place in an era different than mine, with a grandeur language and a different expression of love. I was wrong.

I didn’t read the novel, but maybe if I did, I would understand more of the story.

Jane Eyre has a dark childhood, her parents were dead, and her aunt despised her. She was not accepted by her society, and she grew alone in solitude, not knowing anything about love, trust, and family. After she became a governess at Mr. Rochester’s place, she then fell in love with her cold-hearted master. Mr Rochester also fancied her, but he has a dark secret that no one knew.

I re-read my paragraph and it sounds good, but the truth is, the movie is not. Even if Jane Eyre has a dark childhood, the movie only shows a glimpse of what has happened, and her emotions and feelings were not portrayed as clear. And I have no idea why she has fallen in love with Mr Rochester. Is it because she is a naive girl who hasn’t really experienced a company of a man? Or is there something in Mr Rochester? (which is not portrayed in the movie as well). And why has Mr Rochester become cold? Did anything happen in the past? And why does the secret of the master – a weird secret, becomes a huge matter towards the society?

I have too many unanswered questions, and when I looked back at the movie, trying to figure out what is wrong, I guess the plot is not strong enough for a layman like me, who never really know anything about Jane Eyre, to understand fully about who Jane Eyre really is – what has happened that shaped her as she is, and why does she behave the way she does.

I do not recommend this movie to be watched, as I am quite disappointed myself.

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4 thoughts on “Jane Eyre (2011)

  1. If you were hoping for something in the line of an Austen-story I can understand your confusion. Jane Eyre is not so much a lovestory as an exploration of contrasts and balance – the contrast between men and women, between darkness and light (symbolized by the dark and brooding Edward Rochester and the blond and earnest St. John Rivers), between rich and poor, the ones in power and the once in their power etc with a whiff of magic realism added.The love story is cleverly used to highlight these contrasts – when they meet Jane is poor and Mr. Rochester wealthy, the relationship is out of balance and she runs from it. When they reunite she is wealthy and he’s lost almost everything – balance is achieved and they can unite.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jane Eyre is born of the Gothic tradition, the era that proceeded Austen’s. The authors of this era, the Romantics, were much more concerned with the heart and the self than propriety and decorum. That’s why Jane asserts herself so forcefully in the garden scene (Do you think because I am poor and plain…love that scene!!!) and makes a really stunning statement of equality. In that era, governesses were the eternal “middle ground,” too poor to belong with the families they served and too wealthy/educated to hang out with the help. This book is about a great many things–social, socioeconomic, and cultural–and has beautiful uses of imagery, symbolism, and figurative language to boot. The romance is the bonus, the icing on the cake.

    The book is my favorite of all time, and while you are correct that the film left a great deal to be desired concerning Jane’s childhood (entire characters and key scenes were left out!) in order to focus on the spine-melting love story, the film had the overall look and feel of the book. The cinematography and music were especially good! It was nice to see a treatment of it by a Japanese filmmaker who did something new with it, something not so BBC-esque. However, I think it was made for people like me who adore the book and wanted to see it alive again on the screen rather than the uninitiated. The best thing you can do for yourself is read the book. You won’t be sorry for it. Oh, and Michael Fassbender is entirely too attractive to be Rochester, but I’ll take it. :-)

  3. Jane Eyre is born of the Gothic tradition, the era that proceeded Austen’s. The authors of this era, the Romantics, were much more concerned with the heart and the self than propriety and decorum. That’s why Jane asserts herself so forcefully in the garden scene (Do you think because I am poor and plain…love that scene!!!) and makes a really stunning statement of equality. In that era, governesses were the eternal “middle ground,” too poor to belong with the families they served and too wealthy/educated to hang out with the help. This book is about a great many things–social, socioeconomic, and cultural–and has beautiful uses of imagery, symbolism, and figurative language to boot. The romance is the bonus, the icing on the cake.

    The book is my favorite of all time, and while you are correct that the film left a great deal to be desired concerning Jane’s childhood (entire characters and key scenes were left out!) in order to focus on the spine-melting love story, the film had the overall look and feel of the book. The cinematography and music were especially good! It was nice to see a treatment of it by a Japanese filmmaker who did something new with it, something not so BBC-esque. However, I think it was made for people like me who adore the book and wanted to see it alive again on the screen rather than the uninitiated. The best thing you can do for yourself is read the book. You won’t be sorry for it. Oh, and Michael Fassbender is entirely too attractive to be Rochester, but I’ll take it. :-)

    (Feel free to delete the anonymous comment up there. It’s me, but my account didn’t log in for some reason! Sorry!)

  4. Hi Morrica and Jamie!

    Thank you so much for the comments, I really appreciate your thoughts and explanation about the story behind Jane Eyre! Now I think I understand more about the story. I didn’t pick those details from the movie at all, but it sounds like a very good read indeed. perhaps I should have read the book soon (will add it to my reading list) ;p

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